I had the opportunity today to read through President Obama’s address at the Nobel ceremony. Imagining the words being spoken in his particularly cool baritone, I enjoyed the ebb and flow of the sentences as they entwined themselves together, growing into ever larger and more noble thoughts. And then I stopped cold. It hit me square between the eyes. Barack Obama is to politics what the New York Yankees are to baseball.
See, with the Yankees it’s not so much that they spend billions of dollars to buy the best players. It’s that they take the best players away from rival teams so they can’t be hurt by them. CC Sabathia has their number as a member of the Indians staff. So, give him a year in the NL and then snap him up. Problem solved. Curtis Granderson was part of the Tigers squad that knocked the Yankees out in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Bring him on board, stick him in center field and he won’t be knocking you out again. The list goes on and on, all the way back to Babe Ruth himself.
So how is this like the President? Simple. Look at the speech. At a time when Republicans sense blood in the water and start to churn in anticipation of the kill, he co-opts one of their key arguments and makes it his own. How bold was this move? Well, consider that this was the ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize and then consider that he said this:
To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism
— it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the
limits of reason.
That’s more than bold. That’s straight up brass cojones.
Don’t take this argument the wrong way. I still have no love for the Yankees. But I can appreciate them for the same reason I can appreciate the President. Because they’re stone-cold killers. And that’s saying something when you’ve just accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dear readers! There is finally a reason to read a news magazine! That’s right, folks, the June 8th edition of Newsweek will be guest edited by neo-con-politico-pundit-funnyman, Stephen Colbert. Don’t know who he is? Don’t worry. Neither does Kanye. And Kanye is awesome.
Admittedly, I haven’t read Newsweek since my high school AP History class and even then I was more interested in the pictorial court drama of O.J. Simpson than the actual news, but you can bet I’m gonna read this one because no one knows faux headlines like Colbert (well, maybe Katie Couric).
And I am not alone. The buzz around this avant-garde editorial decision is already hyping the masses, which got me thinking… what kind of immediate and notorious media blitz would errupt around the interwebosphere if MLB.com allowed Mr. Krause and I (and our RSBS cronies) to guest edit its website and inform baseball fans galore on all the game’s most exciting threads.
Well, wonder no more ‘cuz we already started on the following headlines (just in case they come’a knockin’):
Fortune Teller Madame Zelda from a West Baltimore Shanty-Town Proclaims Cubs Might Win It All in 2208
…against their crosstown rival the Chicago Brewers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
ESPN to Broadcast All Royals Games for an Entire Month
…subject to blackout where good baseball teams are appreciated
Did You Know President Obama is a White Sox Fan with Muslim Roots, a White Mom and an African Dad? That’s Crazy!!!
…it really is
Beat the Streak! Accurately Predict How Many Times Milton Bradley Will Go on the Disabled List and Win Free Gift with Purchase!
…minimum purchase of $500 to be eligible
David Ortiz Is Actually Cecil Fielder
…ah, yes, now it makes sense
Vote for Your Favorite Steroid Enhanced All-Stars; Cheating Welcome!
…Hint: Select Manny Ramirez for every position, for every team, forever
Entire MLB Network Staff to Be Fired Except for Mitch Williams
…’cuz Mitch is the only one worth saving
Mitchell Report Sequel Due Out Next Spring Entitled “THE MITCHELL MINORITY REPORT”
…features the plight of a distraught and sensationalized Tom Cruise jumping on couches determined to catch only minorities using PEDs before they actually use them
Charles Barkley to Write Weekly MLB Editorial Featuring Nothing but F-Bombs and P-Drops
…why? Because we can… we want to… and we know the FCC could use the money
Please Buy Old Yankee Stadium Urinals
…’cuz we gotta pay C.C. and A.J. and Tex and A-Rod and Jeter and A-Rod’s child support and alimony and attorney fees and publicist and strippers and estranged cousin in the Dominican Republic and his child support and alimony…and….
MLB.com, if you’re reading, it’s time to give RSBS its guest editing wings and take this show to a new, exciting, frightening place. And I guarantee that, in the end, you will hate me.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It still remains to be seen what the ultimate consequences of the steroid excesses in baseball will be. There are the obvious effects when guys like Pudge get smaller overnight and guys like Jason Giambi no longer put up the same numbers. And in fact, an early result seems to be a bit of an overall downward trend in ballplayer size these days, with smaller guys like Pedroia winning awards and huge contracts. The NY Times, in its continuing series “Why the mainstream media is barely relevant: Stating the obvious three years after the fact,” points out this very same fact.
However, there are more important questions that need to be answered and I am not satisfied with their coverage. For instance, we all know about Derek Jeter’s romantic entanglements with women like Mariah Carey and Jessica Biel. I applaud that. But why is he now dating a 22 year old? I mean, this guy is five years older than me and I’m pretty sure if I was dating someone barely old enough to legally drink, my family and friends would wonder what was going on. Pudge may have hit the Slimfast but at least he isn’t robbing the cradle.
All I know is that it’s hard to feel bad for a guy like Jeter who is so cavalier in his profligacy. But even that is better than A-Rod with his she-males and Joba with his strippers. And it definitely beats talking about PED’s. Thank god New York has a family man like CC around now. Perhaps it will make up for the loss of the one guy who always kept things real by wearing his emotions on his shirt sleeve. Where are your tears when we really need them, Farnsworth?
My favorite movie of the year so far is “The Dark Knight.” I could wax rhapsodic about this movie for hours (and have) because it encompasses the tension, debate and ambivalence swirling in the atmosphere surrounding the United States these days. However, the one quote from the movie that really stuck with me is when Harvey Dent says, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” The funny thing is that this sentiment is just as true in baseball as it is in Gotham City’s political arena.
This season saw the return of Jim Edmonds to the Midwest but probably not in the colors people expected him to wear. And I’m sure the Cardinals faithful, like my friend Mr. Lung, wished for a moment that he would have either retired or suffered some fate that would have kept him off the diamond as opposed to watching him run onto the field at Busch Stadium wearing Cubbie blue.
I’d bet it’s the same way Red Sox fans feel when they see a well-scrubbed Johnny Damon patrolling center field in the Bronx. Let’s be honest, the age of free-agency (and especially the Faustian machinations of Scott Boras) has not been kind to baseball fans. No sooner have you purchased your CC Sabbathia Milwaukee Brewers jersey then he’s shipping out to the east coast and the Steinbrenners’ warm embrace.
However, all this is nothing compared to the uproar if and when Manny signs with the Yankees. Yeah, he may have dogged it in Boston to secure a trade. He may have pushed around old men while he was there, too. But can you really imagine Manny in Yankee pinstripes? Even talking about it sounds kind of dirty. But that’s how it works today. One day a Cardinal, the next a Cub. Heart of the Red Sox in 2006, soul of the Yankees in 2008.
So what’s a baseball fan to do? How do you accept it when the guy who is the face of your franchise leaves for greener pastures? How do you not see the old hero you loved as the Benedict Arnold he has become? Well, it turns out that there’s one other movie franchise that reflects the world around us almost as well as Batman. And earlier this year in “Quantum of Solace” one of Mr. Bond’s associates said it best: “When one’s younger, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and
wrong. But as one gets older, it becomes more difficult… the villains
and the heroes get all mixed up.” It’s fitting that Bond would add nuance to a formerly black and white world. Still, that isn’t going to get me any money back on that Ivan Rodriguez Tigers jersey.