The fact that I am a complete and unparalleled baseball dork is no secret.
You know it. I know it. And the US American people know it.
Which is why I have no shame in admitting that I keep a rather odd notebook of newspaper clippings related to the game, peppered with creative doodles and instinctive comments when necessary.
The world cannot handle another Mark Prior comeback, just like it can’t handle another Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston reunion.
Enough is enough, people. Let us move on.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I would pay Albert Pujols the moon. I would pay Derek Jeter the sun. Roy Halladay my left — AHEM. Okay, you know what I mean. These aren’t Chicago Transit Authority workers who sit around in bunches and watch one guy change one light bulb while they all count how many more days til that fat pension check kicks in. Pujols, Jeter, Halladay… men like that… their services are incalculable.
On the contrary, inflation and greed have changed the dynamics of the world economy so much that I find it frighteningly appalling that certain people in certain positions are able to pull down the amount of scratch they do. Considering how so many US Americans (me) are just skating by, watching ye olde savings account disappear quicker than an Oriole lead in the 9th, I think it’s time we call some of these folks out.
Don’t get me wrong. I ain’t no hater. But soon you’ll agree… overcompensation can be a nagging pain for those of us on the opposite end of the money tree.
Sure, in the baseball world, $7 million a year is quite the bargain, especially for a perennial MVP candidate who can single-handedly carry a team for weeks at a time. Or is it? In the case of Hanley Ramirez, it’s probably less about overcompensation and more about breaking child labor laws. Yeah, you heard me right. ‘Cuz only whiny kids and spoiled brat beotches find themselves exempt from exerting maximum effort on the diamond. And at $7 million a year or $70 a year, when ya play baseball for a living, I expect you to hustle. Always.
Did you know that the strikingly beautiful oldest daughter of former Alaska governor and ultimate purveyor of Backwardism has signed a deal with a speakers bureau to make between $15,000 and $30,000 per speech. Uh… m’kay. So… uh… what’s she gonna speak about? Let’s see, what would make anything Bristol Palin has to say important to me (or anyone)? She’s the daughter of a famous politician. So what? I’m the son of an awesome MRI technologist. She got knocked up while in high school. So what? I was smart enough to wrap it up. Uh… she’s attractive. So what? Hello!?!? Where the hell is my $30K per speech contract?
Remember this guy?!? If you hear that Twilight Zone music sifting through your head, you are not alone, dear readers. I was able to catch the end (and most, er… exciting?) part of that Royals/Indians matchup last night… y’know, the one where Kerry Wood came in throwing 97 mph gas that the Royals — yes, the ROYALS — blasted all over the park. I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying someone $10.5 million a year — someone who always seems to be or is about to be injured — I would ask him to at least be as good as his replacement. Throw in the eminent departure of the most highly publicized free agent in the history of sports and yeah, I’d say it’s time to light that Cuyahoga on fire again, Cleveland. Yep. Let go and let that baby burn.
Hate me ‘cuz your girlfriend digs me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The escalating crybaby tantrums that so poignantly characterize the 2009 Chicago Cubs are about as interesting to me as reading People Magazine‘s cover story on Bristol Palin and her five-month old child. Still, I admit: they’re both fun to look at.
Carlos Zambrano lost his cool again? Ya don’t say. If he’s not cussing himself out on the mound he’s throwing at someone’s head or beating the crap out of Michael Barret or, like yesterday, bumping umpires, throwing balls into left field, or bashing that poor Gatorade machine in the dugout.
Look, I like fiery baseballers just as much as the next pretentious a-hole, but when is enough finally going to be enough for Zambrano? If I threw such a fit at my job you can be sure that I’d be in the unemployment line that same afternoon; and my job doesn’t affect 24 other millionaires in the clubhouse and a neighborhood so jaded, so disgusted, so unruly that its people would actually run a guy out of town, fearing for his life.
Big Z, Milton Bradley, Ted Lilly…
Cub fans, this is why you don’t win championships. The World Series crown is reserved for respectable men who handle adversity with poise and class, who lift each other up with their actions, not tear the team apart. One would think that having Lou Piniella — the skilled master of argumentative persuasion who perfected competitive bluster without hurting his team, himself or others — would teach these rascals how to go about being grown men.
But such logic always seems to get lost in Wrigleyville.
On July 19, 2004, after beaning Jim Edmonds twice for allegedly showboating on a homerun trot, Carlos had this to say: “This is not a baby’s game. This is a man’s game.”
Yet Carlos Zambrano (along with spoiled co-whiner Milton Bradley) remains one of the biggest babies in this “man’s game”. The last time I threw a fit like Zambrano I was ten years old and my father did to me what someone should have done to Carlos a long time ago: he spanked the holy bejeebies outta me.
Until someone does that, there is no team — just a bunch of selfish individuals looking to cause a scene, which will ultimately lead to yet another year of hopeless dreams on the Northside.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m callous, hate me ‘cuz I use big words, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Every time I sit down to read the news these days, it seems that one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is leering out from behind the story. Wildfires in Australia, cholera in Zimbabwe, war in the Middle East and famine here, there and everywhere. Even in the United States we are far from immune to these problems. Unemployment is out of control, no one knows where the financial crisis will ultimately leave us and despite the situation, Congress still can’t seem to figure out how to work together.
But I think the problem can be traced back deeper. No, Mr. Huckabee, it’s not the “anti-religious” forces within the country. And thank you for your input Bristol but it’s not because of teenage pregnancy and the unrealistic idea of abstinence. No, my very exact calculations based on the careful use of a divining rod and an ancient gypsy monkey paw have placed the sewing of the seeds of this crisis on September 9, 1992.
Oddly, another event took place that same day. Could the two be related? It seems too perfect to just be a coincidence. And since there was only one way to find out, I flew the RSBS interns in from Chicago and set them to work. And by the end of the day, in typical RSBS fashion, they came up with several interesting conclusions.
In much the same way that lax regulation allowed the housing market to become overheated, Bud Selig’s single-minded focus on increasing owner revenue allowed a bubble to develop in the baseball market. This enveloped the entire spectrum of baseball related services, too, from the price of seats at a game to the inflated salaries earned by players. But, as fans start tightening their belts, the teams are going to have to figure out some alternate way to keep the money coming in. Perhaps they’ll do it by offering better deals on ticket prices or attempting some new way to keep the concessions moving. It’s a pretty safe assumption that the owners won’t be seeing the same kind of money they did in the past, though. Soon, they might even have to start applying Verizon math to make ends meet.
Additionally, the confluence of decreasing revenue streams and the steroid situation will hit the free agent market pretty hard. The current log-jam in the credit markets came about as a result of toxic assets floating around the banking sector with no one knowing who would take the hit at the final reckoning. It’s like Barry Bonds floating around the periphery of MLB, trying to convince someone to take a chance on him. In the halcyon days of 2005, someone would have been willing to take the risk on both the fancy financial instrument and Mr. Bonds but the market is too tight right now to justify adding such huge liabilities to the books. Free agents will be signed to short-term contracts with PED stipulations, the union will call foul and soon we’ll have a breakdown, just like what we’ve seen in the credit market.
On the bright side, baseball still does provide a quality product so it won’t turn into a situation like that facing the automakers:
At the same time, though, the tendency of owners to rely on municipal largess to rejuvenate the flagging fortunes of their franchises has backfired, a similar situation to what we’re now seeing at GM and Chrysler. Just look at the two new ballparks in the Bronx and Queens, payed for in large part by taxpayer money. As a result of the current economic situation, both teams are struggling to find the sponsorship and financing they need to finish off their end of the bargain. And once again the burden will fall on the shoulder of the taxpayer and the consumer because all the effected parties are “too big to fail.”
The question is, what do we do with these conclusions? Do we continue to chant the Selig mantra, sticking our heads in the sand and claiming that we did all we could do and no one would listen to us? Do we follow the new administration’s path and throw lots of money at the problem in hopes that it will break up the jam? Me, I think there’s a simpler answer. It’s time that the leader who got us into this mess admitted his culpability and fell on his own sword. Healing cannot take place until the tumor has been removed. For that reason, Bud Selig must go.
-A (with special thanks to DK)