This might keep me from being one of the cool kids, but I’m not sweatin’ it because I’ve been there in the flesh, watched it on T.V. and the truth is: the Home Run Derby blows.
It’s boring. It’s fabricated. It’s full of… nothing happening.
It’s made for T.V., that’s for sure, but it’s not baseball. It takes one small, often over hyped aspect of the game and blows it up to the point where it’s just senseless action with little at stake. Sure, I admit Josh Hamilton’s Yankee Stadium display was something otherworldly, but c’mon, that was just one time it was interesting. It’s usually just a bunch of mindless yakking from Chris Berman (another over hyped blah) peppered with the occasional home run and a bevy of unclever insurance ads.
Me? I’ll be watching Le Tour in anticipation of the actual All Star Game (also known as “Better than Christmas” at my house). And yes, I understand the Tour de France (and the entire sport of professional cycling) has a bigger PED problem now than baseball has ever had, thus possibly “tainting” the experience for unseasoned cycling fans, but let me tell you: if any event warrants blood doping, it’d be Le Tour.
I do not advocate it, but I get it. These guys are KILLING themselves, over three weeks, every single day, and if it were up to me, they could inject new blood into their own veins as much as they wanted.
Endurance events get me fired up. That’s one of the reasons why I love baseball so much: it’s a GRIND. Every day. In harsh conditions. Moving forward. But in baseball you rarely see the agony on the players’ faces.
In Le Tour, the agony starts at the gun and doesn’t reach its apex until the finish line is crossed. I can appreciate that, and will, much more than listening to obnoxious Chris Berman catchphrases while guys hammer batting practice fastballs over the wall in Kansas City.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff, Al & that rock-n-rollin-Cub-lovin’ sage Johanna Mahmud take on all things ‘Merica, including (but not limited to) Rinku and Dinesh, Carlos Zambrano, The Hills (seriously? that happened?), the All-Star Game, the Lou
Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more… all to make you laughy-laughy!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast
podcast is a must-listen (listen to it!). It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard
Recorded Monday, July 5, 2010
When Joe Torre, one of the untouchable paragons of class, is getting slammed for allegedly revealing all the Evil Empire‘s dirty secrets in a book that no one has had the chance to even read yet, I think it’s a pretty clear sign that we’ve run out of things to talk about this off-season. Manny being Manny being unsigned is now as interesting a story as Bea Arthur is sexy. The Varitek saga in Boston is teetering on the pathetic. And when the Rangers look to be the best bet for unreliable dark horse Ben Sheets, does anyone really care anymore?
How about a new MLB Network drinking game? It may not be that ramshackle of japery that we created back during the post-season/presidential debate, but it sure will sauce your inhibitions quicker than Rush Limbaugh will make you want to commit suicide.
It’s simple. Tune in to the Hot Stove Show and anytime Harold Reynolds leads the panel in a symphony of phrases uncomfortably coated by the word “guy”, take a drink. You’ll be hammered ten minutes in to the program.
Look, I have nothing personal against Harold Reynolds and his self-serving ramblings. He seems like a genuinely nice man and most of the time I actually get something out of his demonstrations on the diamond; but I sometimes feel dumb listening to his emphatic, annoyingly frequent use of the word “guy”. Let me paraphrase a sample, dear reader — a hypothetical spew based on several weeks of actually listening to the man:
A guy like Manny… Manny Ramirez is a guy who just doesn’t change a team, he changes a division. Guys see a guy like Manny in the clubhouse and then guys are suddenly seeing changes. He’s a guy who has the ability to go out there and be that guy that all the other guys are honing in on — a guy who can beat you every time he takes the field. And guys on the other side, guys on your side, those guys see that too. Makes them want to go out there and be more competitive guys, guys that get things done. You see guys change, not just guys on the team, but guys throughout the division.
I wish I were exaggerating.
H.R.’s inability to find a synonym for “guy” probably wouldn’t bother me so much if he didn’t subliminally infect the rest of the cast with his lecherous verbal disease. Broadcasting newbies Barry Larkin and Al Leiter have picked up on it, and the ensuing cacophony is near deafening.
But, I keep watching… ‘cuz I love the MLB Network. I can’t stop watching it. So I might have a problem.
As much as I love it, there is one block of MLB Network programing that baffles me like a Spaceman eephus pitch.
Whoever thought it would be a good idea to rerun old homerun derbies during a prime-time slot deserves to have John Kruk sit on his face during the two hours they’re being aired. The homerun derby? Really? I’m supposed to get excited about watching a bunch of superstars hit lollygaggin’ Jamie Moyer fastballs from two, three, four years ago while Chris Berman entertains himself ad nauseum with his cutesy cleverness? I didn’t care about the homerun derby the first time; why would I care now?
And even if you do enjoy the homerun derby (when it actually happens each July), do you really get excited about watching it again? Save Josh Hamilton’s gargantuan effort of 2008 — a contest which he ultimately lost — is there really anything titillating in any homerun derby that makes you say: “Yeah! Can’t wait to put aside two hours to watch that again!”
MLB Productions has done a fine job of producing edgy, dramatic, quality programs that explore the deep history and colorful characters of the game. I haven’t been disappointed with one of their productions yet. So I am both baffled and bored by the network’s decision to rerun past derbies instead of wowing us with original content. Seems like they’re missing a big opportunity there.
The good news is: if I play the H.R. drinking game, I won’t be conscious enough to watch the derby reruns anyway.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
To say that we at RSBS aren’t both touched and appalled at the desire for our dear readers to find out how “wemen hit mens’ balls” by perusing our plentiful pages of posts would not only be a mistake — it’d be completely false. In fact, we do care. We want to help in whatever way possible; it’s just that we’re US Americans. We have short attention spans.
This is why I feel the need to address Mr. Krause’s 800 pound gorilla (and no, I am not talking about his sister). For those of you who pay attention, you already know that Mr. Krause not only roots for his lackluster, underachieving, overpaid Tigers, but he is also stringently aligned with the laughingstock of the NFL: the Detroit Lions.
And in case you live in a Cold War era bomb shelter like the one underneath my grandma’s house with all the amenities of a North Korean disco party, you know the Lions are 0-13 with just three games left on their already light schedule. That’s right. No wins. Just losses… and a lot of them. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought that Chris Berman, Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino, James Brown and every other NFL pregame analyst working the networks yesterday was actually rooting, hoping, wishing that the Lions go on to become the first team ever in the history of the National Football League to not win a single game the entire season.
You can count me in on that wish too.
Because it’s funny.
All joking aside, it is no secret that I love football; but this is a classic example of why baseball, in my humble yet nearly one hundred percent accurate opinion, is a far superior game.
Even the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, holders of the worst record in baseball history, won 20 games to their 134 losses. Twenty times that year they could walk off the field with their heads held high, knowing that — just for a day — they were winners. Likewise, the ’60s era New York Mets (before ’69), as terrible, as awful, as atrocious a team as they were, still won 30 percent of their games. They were never completely void of victory; that tiny taste of winning perhaps propelled them towards their miraculous season of ’69. And of course, who could forget the late-season heroics of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who in the face of breaking the ’62 Mets’ record for most losses in a season, went on a torrid streak and won five out of their last six games to avoid ultimate infamy.
The key ingredient in all of these poor baseball teams’ legacies is the fact that despite how terrible they all were, they still won some of the time.
But when your season is only sixteen games long the room for error shrinks; and in a game like football, you can forget all about mercy.
Hang in there, Mr. Krause. Don’t cry. Remember, the 1988 Baltimore Orioles started the season 0-21 and even though they finished as winners of 34% of their games, they still had a big fat zero for a considerable, oft uncomfortable amount of time. Put in that perspective, 0-16 doesn’t seem all that bad, eh? Besides, it could be worse, Al: Kyle Farnsworth could be your quarterback.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.