What’d you guys think of your boy Zito drilling Prince Fielder for his
earthquake celebration? It’s only spring training and we’re already
seeing fireworks?!? What’s your take?
Flush from yet another amazing Super Bowl game, the NFL recently took out its manhood, held it in both hands while staring proudly and then swiftly and viciously emasculated itself, leaving nothing but a bloody stump. You like touchdown celebrations? Well, let’s see how much you like them when it means giving the other team 15 yards on the kickoff.
Ostensibly, the owners made this decision to protect the game. After all, football is a team sport that involves no individual glory and this is why players are all paid the exact same amount. Oh, they aren’t? Uh, nevermind then.
My point is, the NFL could take a lesson from MLB and how it deals with this sort of issue. Guys like Prince Fielder are free to celebrate their heroics however they want. If that means running around the bases quickly with their head down, that’s fine. And if it means setting up a choreographed event at home plate with your teammates, that’s fine, too. But you’re going to have to face the consequences.
The consequences for Prince’s actions were a plunk in the back. Prince has adequate padding so I’m sure there will not be any long lasting effects. But it did let the Brewers know their actions hadn’t gone unnoticed. Sure, it’s sad that it had to come from close personal friend of RSBS, Barry Zito, but them’s the breaks.
That’s the thing. Baseball has rules against retaliation but unless it’s so blatant as to be unignorable, most umps are going to turn the other way. It’s part of the game and has been for a long time. In fact, this is probably one of those few areas where orthodox fans like Mr. Lung and reformed fans like myself can find grounds for agreement. Baseball is a game where things get settled on the field (unless you’re Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano) and the NFL could take a lesson.
Let a guy like TO or Ochocinco do a little dance and get down after making a spectacular catch. And then let them put 2 and 2 together when they get their teeth knocked out the next time they catch a ball. It won’t take long before the celebrations get tempered of their own accord.
That things like these go without saying is part of what makes baseball a great game. It’s not just about individual valor and team glory. It’s also the tradition and the melodrama. You think the Brewers will have forgotten that “pitch that got away” the next time they’re playing the Giants? And do you think the Giants will go easy on Fielder the next time he’s up to bat? No way, man. And that’s just one more reason to be watching those games.
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It’s hard to know where to begin in a year that saw both halves of RSBS turn 30. 30? I was supposed to be a multi-millionaire by now. What happened with that?
But that doesn’t mean it was all bad. Jeff came to visit me in DC and we wound up with high roller seats at a Nationals game. Or should I say Natinals? And I also made it to Chicago to film the immediately iconic video, “Crush,” with Jeff. By the time October rolled around and the Tigers came within a game of making the playoffs, it felt like a pretty full year.
As Dickens said, “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.” And it sure was. The blog, just like our personal lives, had its fair share of ups and downs. Being the guy that he is, Jeff especially liked to catch people when they were down and give ’em one more kick, just to help them stay down. Don’t believe me? Ask Milton Bradley, Brad Lidge or the entire Cubs organization.
However, this is the time of year when we spend some time celebrating the ups. And what better way to celebrate than by breaking down my favorite Jeffery Lung authored posts in list format?
2nd Honorable Mention:
Jeff loves the interwebs and this love led to many memorable moments brought to us by Google and Coco Crisp. But if there was one internet interlude that could be defined as the paragon, it had to have been when Jeff was blocked from Barry Zito’s Twitter account by…..Barry Zito!
Although Chicago has never lacked political corruption scandals, Rod Blagojevich may have set a new standard for brazenness. Or maybe you thought he did until this year’s team of All-Star corrupt politicos was unveiled. Sure, he’s brazen. But is he Marion Barry brazen?
2nd Runner Up:
Moving from All-Corrupt to All-Star, RSBS was lucky enough this year to have a presence at the All-Star Game played in St. Louis. Jeff may not have come through on his bet to get a date with Erin Andrews but he more than made up for it in pictures. Especially pictures of his porn-stache.
1st Runner Up:
Some people may question other people’s love of baseball. But after reading this entry, you’ll never question Jeff’s. Even if it does sometimes lead to weird quasi-international incidents, we now know that there’s one thing that can bring a boy and his father or Americans and Canadians together and his name is Joe Carter.
And the Winner is……:
Could it really have been anything else? The sheer audacity of suggesting that the messiah/prophet/best-selling author has it in for Chicago’s lovable losers re-cemented Jeff’s status as one of the pre-eminent Cubs haters in the country. And the fact that Jesus showed up for the shoot just proves the thesis.
So, that’s about it for another year here at RSBS. It’s cold now but pitchers and catchers will be reporting soon and we’ll be there to welcome them back.
Gary Sheffield: The Original Milton Bradley
Before there was Milton, there was Gary. Yes folks, Gary was whining and crying and kicking the dirt and picking fights and pissing off fans and management and teammates and saying stupid things long before Bradley. And now, as if shown up by woe-is-me Milton, Gary has announced he’d like to come back and play in 2010. So even if Milton is teamless next year, we can still count on Sheff to aggravate the baseball cosmos… if any team is willing to take him that is.
Besides using it to piss off professional baseball players, I have found Twitter to be an excellent tool for networking and socializing with like-minded baseball nerds. Of course, Allen and I get our fair share of spammer tweets, but I had never seen anything like this before:
“I LOVE GREEN APPLES!”
“I LOVE GREEN APPLES TOO!”
Of course, this is not a real person. It can’t be. Looking at her (his? Its?) page you’ll see it’s just a long string of random non sequiturs. But boy was I duped! Without a gibberish username, grainy profile pic and messages like “please visit my nude profile”, I guess I got *ahem* quick handed.
Where the Hell is Allen?
In case dear readers are wondering, my loquacious and oft incoherent colleague is still very much alive. He’ll be back. Soon. He’s sorta recovering at the moment. You see, he had an issue… an issue with his… esophagus. They even made a movie about it:
Itchy portrayed me with excellence I must say.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m cruel, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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)
Attacking our Commander in Chief for his administration’s slow recovery from eight long years of poor GOP policy is one thing; attacking him for his pitching mechanics is another and, frankly, I find it to be an undermining, un-American, unnecessary derision of the US American psyche.
I mean, this is not Barry Zito we’re talking about here. This is the President of the United States of America!
Yet it didn’t take long for Chicago Tribune writer Rick Morrissey to launch an offensive on Barack Obama’s ceremonial first pitch from the 2009 All-Star Game, highlighted by his glib crack which stated “he throws like someone who hardly has played sports” and “If I’m North Korea, I attack right now.”
Wow. Hope you got a bunker, Rick. You’re gonna need it.
Seeing President Obama walk out on the field was a special treat for me; and while from my right field vantage point I did notice somewhat of an awkward arc to his ball, I would never say it looked like an nonathletic toss. Verily, Albert Pujols saved him from bouncing one in front of the plate; but believe me, I have seen much, much worse.
Mayor Mallory anyone?
Of course, when it comes to stellar ceremonial first pitches and beyond fantastic form, it would be exceptionally difficult to beat the Japanese:
Take note bottom-dwelling, low-drawing, aesthetically-challenged Major League Baseball clubs: get this gal to throw all of your ceremonial first pitches and watch the magic unfold (or just watch her chest through that low cut pinstriped top).
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Make one declaration to the worldwide interwebosphere about how you’re going to do everything in your power to land a date with the most beautiful woman in sports broadcasting and suddenly you’re considered a creepazoid stalker who could use a lesson or two in social tact.
Creepazoid? Maybe. Tactless? Probably. Stalker? No, sir.
I made my intentions very clear; and I’m pretty sure I was a perfect gentleman. It’s 2009, y’all, and the internets is where it’s at. I mean, you can do everything on this crazy series of tubes: order takeout, save money on your car insurance, get Twitter-blocked by Barry Zito. Why should chasing Erin Andrews be any different?
“But, Jeff,” my mother said, “what if your girlfriend reads this?”
“My girlfriend does not read this blog, Mom.”
Boy, was I wrong.
I tried to play down my actions of sneaking around my girlfriend’s back to get a real shot at Ms. Andrews, but she wasn’t as understanding as I had hoped. At least now she knows; and I am happy to report that she hasn’t broken up with me over this so things are working out pretty well. I mean, let’s face it, a couple of cigarette burns to the chest are well worth her allowing me to continue on with my special project.
Still, there is just one small problem: Erin Andrews is a lot more mobile than I. And, well, ESPN hasn’t helped me with passing on my messages (sweet as they all are).
What Fulbright Scholar would let such foibles deter him from accomplishing his task?
Indeed, I have a plan. You see, I bought tickets to the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis. I’ll be there for all the fan festivities: old-timers game, home-run derby, futures game — four days of pure debauchery — and a possible encounter with Ms. Andrews herself… that is, as long as Joba Chamberlain doesn’t get in my way (but who would make him an All-Star this year anyway?).
Hate me ‘cuz I got skillz, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There comes a point in the season where we sit back, take a deep breath and wonder why baseball doesn’t have cheerleaders. I mean, the WNBA has cheerleaders, why not MLB? But never fear, faithful readers. After much deliberation and some top of the line work by the interns, we have a special gift for you: the RSBS all-star cheerleading team.
Since the squad is created to further our love for and appreciation of baseball, it seems only natural that Ms. Milano, the black widow herself, would lead this team. Just keep her far, far away from Justin Verlander. We don’t need him to go Barry Zito on us.
Despite Ms. Stokke’s tangential at best relation to baseball, we give her a position on our team because, well, because she’s pretty and we like looking at her. Do I really need more of a reason than that?
Although not a choice that I would normally make, Ms. Andrews makes the team out of respect to my friend, Mr. Lung. And at least we can point out that her relationship to baseball is well-documented and ongoing. Welcome to the team.
Although a bit of a dark-horse contender, Ms. Heller routinely establishes her bona fides, especially after the Yankee Stadium program dust-up earlier this year. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also the top ranked MLBlogs fan blogger and that counts for something in our book. We’ll just have to ignore the fact that she’s a Yankee lover.
Anyway, although it’s a small squad, we think you’ll agree that it’s also a very impressive group. And we really hope that our honorees take it in good fun because honestly, we’re really just jealous of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date Barry Zito? Well, as long as he didn’t Tweet about it.