Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)
But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.
The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.
Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.
But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it.
Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.
The truth is: I was going to leave this one in the proverbial scrap pile of unprocessed information otherwise known as my oft useless brain, but after reading this touching letter to Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitski, I decided this might have a place.
I mean, I already infuriated Barry Zito (or at least his handlers) earlier this year by writing the truth: that during his Giants tenure, he hasn’t performed as well as that lofty contract might suggest. Before I knew it he was blocking me from his Twitter account and I was wallowing in the kind of sorrow that only comes from not knowing what band Barry Zito thinks “rocks” or what type of scarf he’s going to wear to the polo club to impress his famously hot girlfriends.
So I certainly hope that when I call out Padres pitching prospect, Mat Latos, for acting like a bratty child during pre-game activities at this year’s Futures Game, that he doesn’t block me from watching his so-called Tim Lincecum-like delivery on MLB.TV.
Oh wait. Why would I ever want to watch a Padres game? Nevermind.
Still, much like the young fireballer Latos, I too am trying to become established, to make a name for myself, to be noticed. And the truth is, Mat, you and I, we can be a team. Maybe…
First you will have to brush up on your people skills. For example, when little kids ask you to toss a batting practice ball up to them in the stands, I wouldn’t fake-throw it (like one tends to do with his dog because watching a dog chase nothing is funny) then laugh with your buddies at how clever you are. And I also wouldn’t spend most of that shagging time trying to launch errant balls high up into the upper decks (and fail miserably) because those balls were falling down onto we little people at high speeds and someone could have gotten hurt.
See, the thing is, Mat, I know you’re young and all that talent has probably gotten to you; still, remember that you’re living a dream — that you have been gifted with the ability to play a game… for a living — and that your personality on and off the field will have a whole lot to do with how we plebeian fans perceive you. Don’t care how the fans perceive you? See Barry Bonds for more information on how it can go horribly wrong.
Lucky for you, Mat, I’m a pretty understanding guy. And I can be a snot-nose sometimes too. I won’t fault you for that… but remember who you are aiming your snot-nosedness at, Mat. The kids. Remember the kids.
Those kids — kids who look up to you even though they have no idea who you are, ‘cuz let’s face it, right now you’re a nobody just like Lastings Milledge is a nobody — those kids, when you mess with them, they don’t take it so well.
Remember that and you will be good to go. I almost guarantee it. Okay, I sorta guarantee it.
Good luck, Mat! Hope to see you around the ballpark and maybe — if you feel lucky — you might even consider attacking my character… when you get a break from being the next Tim Lincecum that is…
Hate me ‘cuz I call ’em out, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(“Crying Kids” image courtesy of The B.S. Report)
It’s recently occurred to me that Albert [Pujols] is on pace to challenge Maris’
single season HR mark. If he does this he becomes the first player NOT
implicated in steroids or other PED’s to do so. Should baseball make a
bigger deal out of this? I kind of doubt MLB would (it would look like
they were admitting Bonds and Sosa’s and McGwire’s big home run years
were illegitimate), but baseball fans should be rejoicing in what has
quietly become a potentially historic season.
As arrogant and scapegoating as MLB’s front offices are, we would be much better off betting our 401k’s that Sarah Palin will become the next president than we would on MLB making any mention of this highly inconvenient fact. But that does not mean we, the fans, and other knowledgeable folks can’t start stirring up some serious crap.
And who shall be our leader in this sanctimonious crusade?
For those of you who tuned into the MLB Network on Thursday night to watch the Mets get blown out by the Dodgers, you already know what I’m talking about. For the rest of you, let me fill you in…
Inspired by the overhyped drama of Manny’s first series in New York after his embarrassing steroid reveal, Bob Costas came out to his colleague Jim Kaat and declared that McGwire’s record, Bonds’ record and the rest of those monumentally tainted blips of prestige could be thrown out and dismissed entirely by any Joe Fan — any human being capable of understanding how marred the game had become during the ‘steroid era’ — and that according to such logical folks, Roger Maris’ 61 and Hank Aaron’s 755 still stood as the true records — the unclouded, inarguable, uncontested homerun records of Major League Baseball.
MLB won’t ever tell you anything like that.
Bob Costas will.
Is it fair to knock Major League Baseball for doing what is really the only logical thing they can do given the circumstances? No. Probably not.
But fair is a relative concept — one no one (including me, I admit) had the balls to contest when guys like Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro and Paul Lo Duca were raking dingers like I chug Bud Light on the weekends.
Still, as a lowly MLBlogger, I adhere to my spawning necessity to stir up a bunch of crap for no good reason, hoping someone will actually take notice, even if I do contradict my own penned tirades from time to time.
But, Ted, let me tell ya, I’m rejoicing, man. And in my world, Roger Maris is at the top (except for that one moment back in ’98 when McGwire took Steve Trachsel deep at Busch II) and Hank Aaron is tops too because I simply cannot stand Barry Bonds, his runaway forehead, or his smug crybaby I’m-the-victim routine.
I’m a US American! It’s in my blood to flip-flop; it’s in yours too and you know it.
So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m a greasy s***talker, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at email@example.com.
***Pictures of a scantily clad Courtney Cox circa 1998 also welcome.
I’m a little relieved today and it’s not entirely because I found out that Tito and Jermaine are still with us. In fact, it’s not even just because the Tigers found a way to beat the increasingly pathetic Oakland Athletics. No, I’m relieved because I finally know why the US has fallen on such hard times.
See, up until now, I had been thinking that the sometimes insane drive to be bigger, faster and stronger had led to the economic downturn. It’s kind of like how the same focus created the steroid era in baseball. But it turns out that I was wrong. In reality, the economic crisis, much like Katrina, 9/11 and probably Bud Selig, is the result of something much simpler: Our immorality.
If we could just sin a little less and elect more Republicans, this whole thing would turn around in a jiffy. At least according to Oklahoma representative Sally Kern, that is. Despite the fact that Obama was elected president in large part because of the downward spiralling economy, it turns out that when he “Refused to uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in giving recognition to our National Day of Prayer,” he inadvertently set the United States on a path to economic ruin. And the only way we can turn away from this wide gate and broad way is to follow the admonitions of Ms. Kern and her cohorts.
So there you have it, dear readers. If you continue to watch HBO and use contraceptives, you have no one but yourself to blame when your 401k loses 40% of its value. And you’re probably also responsible for Barry Bonds’ enormous head because if you hadn’t continued to buy tickets, he never would have used those PEDs. Oh, and before I forget, if you’re looking to invest in some real estate, I have a bridge up in Brooklyn that you might be interested in. Let me know.
With the disputed elections in Iran this past weekend following hot on the heels of Kim Jong Il’s announcement that his third son will take over the reins of a dysfunctional but nuclear-armed North Korea, we here at RSBS started to wonder who would take the crown as king of the crazies if we actually did the research. Luckily, the interns had nothing better to do while Jeff and I watched some interleague tom-foolery and they came up with this objective and quantitatively analysed list. So, without further ado, we present the results of the very first RSBS “Demented yet Debonair” contest.
If at first you
don’t succeed, nationalize! Now, I’m aware that this could also be
America’s motto right now but Hugo has been doing it for so many years
now that he’s an old pro. On top of that, rumor has it that after the
recent introduction of Coke Zero to the country of Venezuela, President
Chavez promptly banned it on vague charges of healthiness. This coming
from a man who drinks enough coffee in one day to single-handedly
support Juan Valdez’s retirement. El Presidente, we salute you.
1st Runner Up:
just the snazzy gray suit worn without a tie or the oft repeated urge to wipe
Israel off the map. No, Mahmoud has that little something extra that
makes you think he’s capable of so much more. Maybe it’s the malevolent
twinkle in his eye. Maybe it’s his ability to go from zero to rabid
anti-Semite in 4 seconds flat. Or maybe it’s how he flummoxed all the
pundits and wiped out the opposition in this past weekend’s elections.
Whatever it is, the Iranian president will always be a contender.
Kim Jong Il
In a region where political longevity is often measured in fractions of years, the Kim family has managed to hold onto power for several decades now. How do they do it? Well, let’s just say that it has nothing to do with extra doses of the warm fuzzies. And Kim Jong Il’s announcement that his son, Kim Jong Un, will take over upon his demise combined with new nuclear sabre-rattling just kind of makes observers scratch their heads and wonder what is going on. However, knowing that Mr. Kim is a huge movie buff, I bet the picture all looked much clearer and much better in his head.
Sadly, despite all the craziness in the world today, there can only be one winner of this year’s “Demented yet Debonair” contest. And I don’t think any of our readers will be surprised to see….
Yep, although Commissioner Selig hasn’t done anything too wild recently, he still has done quite a bit to earn this honor. There was the infamous tied All-Star game and his non-action during the steroid era. He also bears a lot of the blame for the out of control inflation within baseball that has driven many fans out of the park and left it open only to corporate bigwigs and smarmy lawyers. But more importantly, Bud Selig created Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds and that’s unforgivable. Granted, he may not be looking to blow up the world or start the Bolivarian revolution but he has besmirched the good name of baseball. That’s not something we look lightly on here at RSBS. I suppose that if he sent Erin Andrews to come and convince us otherwise, though, at least half of us would listen.
–Thanks to L for the Coke Zero story
In 2001, the king of crap conglomerates and no-holds-barred entrepreneurship, Vince McMahon, teamed up with NBC to create a new world order football league deftly named the XFL. The league featured ‘roid-raging castaways with unfettered guts and brawn who considered the actual rules of the game nothing more than a bothersome set of circumstances meant to be ignored — all in the holy name of entertainment.
Personally, I have had enough of the steroid scandal in baseball; and in an effort of compromise between giving the fans what they want and keeping Major League Baseball clean, I propose we gather up all the Mannys, Barrys, Alexes and Marks, give them to Vince McMahon, throw a ton of money at marketing and licensing and let them hit the hell out of the ball all they want in a rule-breaking utopia known as the XBL.
No drug tests. No suspensions. No questions.
And who better to get this league off the ground than Rafael “What the Heck Is Stanozolol Anyway” Palmeiro?
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I mean, it’s all we’ve been talking about for the past few weeks and it kind of feels like a dagger in the heart every time it comes up. No, I’m not talking about the Tigers’ chances for success this season. And I’m not referring to Jeff’s notorious difficulty in the dating world. No, I’m talking about the former anti-Barry, Alex Rodriguez.
How is it possible that he just doesn’t get it? What is he paying Boras for? Shouldn’t that guy be out there making sure he doesn’t do stupid ^ss sh!t like this?
But no, once again A-Rod is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Yeah, he still has that sweet swing as Jeff mentioned yesterday. However, it appears he also still retains that incredible tone-deafness that got him into this current predicament. Really, man? After everything that’s happened you’re still going to head out for a night of needles in the butt with the same guy that supposedly got you into this mess? As Simon and Garfunkel put it so eloquently, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?”
Maybe he thought that everyone was so caught up in watching our president try to pull us out of our current financial mess that he figured no one would notice. Maybe he decided that the nation was so focused on the Republicans’ inane game of “I know you are but what am I?” that we’d all let this slide. Or maybe he just thinks that with the current state of things we’re all going to be dead soon so what does it matter anyway.
I don’t know. But, what I can say is that for all my dislike of the Yankees, this whole saga just makes me sad. Luckily I still have the Pistons and the Red Wings to keep me sane. What? Really? 8 games in a row? Well, I guess 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.