Tagged: Cheap Shots

The Filibuster

Any predictions for the All-Star Game?

Alice
Highland, IN

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I was all set to write a response about “King Bud” and how he had perverted the fun of the All-Star game.  But then I realized something.  The All-Star game still is fun and especially for the guys getting picked to go for the first time, it has to be an amazing experience.  Sure, the game counts now and in a way that doesn’t really make sense.  But that’s secondary.  These are arguably the best players in baseball split up into two squads going head to head.  That’s pretty awesome.

But even though this event is about leagues as opposed to teams, I can’t help being biased toward my own guys.  That’s why my predictions revolve around the Tigers.  (Please note that I’m writing this on Friday evening so anything that happens between now and Sunday, when it goes up, well, it can be held against me but not in an ignorant kind of fashion.)

Prediction #1: Justin Verlander starts the game for the AL

Sure, even Verlander himself has said that the start in this year’s game should be based on this year’s events.  Maybe he hasn’t been as dominant this year as he was in his 2011 campaign but I’m pretty sure there’s still no hitter in either league that enjoys the thought of going up against JV.  More than that, Verlander has been practically unhittable for NL opponents with the best outings of his career coming against the NL.  If you want to start the game out on the right foot, put JV on the mound.

Prediction #2: Prince Fielder wins the home run derby

The guy is a monster talent and a monster plain and simple.  He’s also starting to rediscover the form he had starting off the season as he settles in behind Cabrera.  Put it all together with the start at first base for the AL squad and you have a Fielder ready to explode.  He won’t set a new record but he’s going to win.

Prediction #3: Miguel Cabrera wins MVP

There’s a lot of amazing talent on this year’s rosters and no shortage of candidates for MVP.  But something inside of me says that this is Miggy’s year and he comes up huge.  I’m thinking a three-run home run to bring the AL back from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead.

Prediction #4: Mr. Lung disagrees with everything I just predicted

There are optimists.  There are pessimists.  And there’s Mr. Lung.  Mr. Lung’s goal in life is to take the opposite view on everything I say.  It’s a noble objective even if it does mean that Mr. Lung is wrong a good percentage of the time.  Seriously, woolen stirrup pants on Houston Astros?  I don’t like the Astros either but let’s just admit that breathable synthetics have been good for the game.  To be fair, I don’t think it’s so much about being right or wrong for Mr. Lung as it is about the act of disagreeing.  It’s rebellious.  You know, like listening to Marilyn Manson.

So, enjoy the All-Star break and pay attention to see how many of these predictions come true.  And if you catch one of Prince’s derby balls, feel free to send it my way.

-A
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Just a Bit Inside

A few weeks ago, umpire Greg Gibson found himself on the wrong end of the following headline:

Umpire Greg Gibson Took A Stephen Strasburg Fastball To The Crotch

Which obviously begs the question, should Gibson now change his name, perhaps considering the following as an option?:

All kidding aside, umpires have a crappy job.  Pretty much the only time anyone notices you is when you blow a perfect game or get nailed in the ‘nads by a Strasburg steamer.  With the advent of the home run review system, the job got even crappier.  As radar guns and pitch monitors get ever better, it’s probably only a matter of time before people start making noise about taking that responsibility away from the umps as well.

Today, though, on the day after Memorial Day, I just want to take a minute to salute the men in blue who put life, limb and the ability to procreate out there on the line everyday.  Now, get yourself a pair of glasses, get back out there and try not to give this game away, too.

-A

Speculators, Mount Up!

Every once in a while my friend Jeffery comes up with an idea that surprises me in its intelligence.  Granted, his “I’m voting for Ron Paul because the gold standard is shiny!” moments tend to overshadow his more lucid thoughts but I’m the type of guy who gives credit where credit is due.  So, when Jeff advocates for the one-year contract, I have to applaud his chutzpah.  Sure, it will never happen for a legion of reasons but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.  Unlike this:

[youtube http://youtu.be/dnPNr9yquuc]

Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it’s right, though.  For instance, paying less money for gas seems like a good idea to most of us.  And oil speculation seems like a bad idea.  But if you take a look at this and this, you might just start to realize that cheap gas doesn’t make so much sense and oil speculation might not be so bad.

Just like traders buying “future” barrels of oil, baseball players’ salaries are simple speculation.  You pay A-Rod a quarter billion dollars because you think he’s going to be able to continue putting up the same numbers for 10 years.  Same goes for Pujols and all these other guys with monster salaries.  You hope that by giving an extended contract, you’re actually avoiding paying less than what the market will say that player is worth and you’ll wind up with a profit.  That’s pretty much “speculation” in its most basic form.  And just like buying future oil, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

For the rest of us, the options are a little more limited.  I don’t have major league skills.  I’m never going to make a million dollars because of my ability to hit a ball or throw a ball or pretty much do anything with a ball.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to speculate.  I’ve even got my eyes on a pretty spectacular opportunity.  Anyone want to throw in on an asteroid with me?

-A

Making It Rain: An RSBS Tutorial

With summer temperatures slowly creeping up on us, the potential for flop-sweat induced wedgies at the ballpark is on the rise, making an afternoon or midmorning rain shower a pleasant respite for anyone wanting to spend some serious time unstuck at the game.  Though it is not widely known, making it rain isn’t quite as difficult as one might think.  Here are three simple methods:

1.  Be Different


As my doleful and oft unctuous colleague, Mr. Krause, taught us, sometimes, making it rain is just a matter of doing the opposite of what’s expected of you.

2.  Be Ignorant


This is an easy method for rain-making, especially for those US Americans who reside in the realm of absurdity.  I recall Focus on the Family asking their invisible friend to make it rain in Denver, to drown out the “changes” being outlined by Obama at the 2008 DNC.

3.  Be Livan Hernandez


This is the easiest, most economical way to make it rain.  In fact, I’m doing it right now… to the guy in the cubicle next to me.

Hate me ‘cuz I makes it rain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Anaheim Albert ang I Are Juss Having Fung, Mang

The Twittersphere is a strange place.  It can be as welcoming as it is alienating, as terrifying as it is hilarious.  But just like anything else on the interwebs, it is what you make of it.

Over the years, I have fawned over several accounts in order to make SUPER-HAPPY-FUN TIME.  Coco Crisp’s was golden.  Barry Zito’s was embarrassing (before he blocked me from talking to him).  And I’ve probably cried more laughing at the hilarity of Fake Ned Yost than I have all the times I’ve watched Braveheart combined (stop judging me).

But these days there’s a new mang in town (somewhere along I-5 between Los Anaheim and Orange Angeles County).

BEHOLD: ANAHEIM ALBERT!

He waxes on performance:

Compares himself to others:

And provides sultry details to his odd albeit professional relationship with his agent Dan Lozano:

Extra mad points for that Scott Spiezio reference.  He’s another man whose heroics are shared by both Halos fans and Redbird Nation.

Speaking of Spiezio, where’s my scotch… and the strippers???  ALBERT!!!!

Hate me ‘cuz I made you L-O-L, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Brendan Ryan Finds His Ironic Legacy: Keeping His Mouth Shut

We learned many things from Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga and the infamous Imperfect Game of June 2, 2010.  We learned that throwing beer bottles at the wall may cause significant DAMAGE (to the beer bottle, possibly the wall too).  We learned that styling one’s facial hair after the Pringles man cannot disguise MISTAKES.  And we also learned that the best way to avoid controversy, is to AVOID controversy.

So when Philip Humber threw that wild 3-2 breaking ball two feet off the plate on Saturday and Brendan Ryan checked his swing, I felt all of the fury, all of the tension, all of the RAGE from the Imperfect Game ALL over again.  Except homeplate umpire Brian Runge called it a swing, AJ Pierzynski threw the ball to first and the celebration began.

OH BUT THE CONTROVERSY!!!

In my house, I had a hard time celebrating Humber’s gem because I was already seeing the asterisk-calling headlines, I could already hear Mariners fans (all three of them) flooding the sports talk shows with vitriol.  And as Brendan Ryan argued with Runge about the call, I knew it was time for me to go outside to get some fresh air before my phone started to blow up with imperfect texts.

Except… none of the above actually happened.  Brendan Ryan dropped the subject.  He tipped his cap and moved on.  The networks — as if taken over by an Orwellian machine of greater good (a fantasy in itself) — didn’t even show the replays of Ryan’s checked swing.  The Wizard said “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and I — WE ALL — gleefully obliged, even though it sorta felt dirty doing so.

We owe that guilt-stained dirty feeling to Brendan Ryan.  In fact, whether it is a good thing or not, Philip Humber’s perfect game will live on unscathed by controversy because Brendan Ryan simply let it go.  He shut his mouth.  He went about his business.  And now we are to forget.

For a guy who was labeled as “a distraction” and a “clubhouse cancer” during his St. Louis Cardinal tenure, it’s nice to see Brendan being recognized for something else.  Admittedly, I never would have bet it’d be for saying… nothing.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff