As we enter the beginning of the most exciting time of year (baseball playoffs and football season and an election, oh my!), I think it’s important that we keep in perspective that which brings us the most joy. Sure, hosting a Guinness keg party while dressed in my Yadier Molina jersey flanked by the Shannon twins is pretty much the happiest day of my life (that hasn’t happened yet but might), I still know that even if all that other stuff falls through, I will always have baseball.
And sometimes, within the game of baseball, we can find something much simpler that pushes the happy button. I know a lot of folks have been wrapped up in the admirable and impressive play of Mike Trout. People are just as infatuated with his grace and dominance as I
was am infatuated with Stephen Strasburg and all things Strasmas. It’s the little injections of youthful awesomesauce that often remind us why we love baseball so much. It is a kid’s game after all.
But sometimes waiting for the next big thing isn’t necessary. I have found that out this year by following Coco Crisp very closely. My history with Crisp has been one of hilarity, peppered with some dazzle. And while his offensive numbers may not hypnotize scouts, enough can never be said about how he plays the game.
He plays hard. He plays to win. He’s in on every pitch and he goes balls-to-the-wall. In fact, I have gotten to the point where I’m watching replays of his relay throws and conducting frame-by-frame analysis on his routes to fly balls.
If I could get to Oakland, I’d rather watch Crisp long-toss than Cesepedes take BP.
Okay, so maybe I’m lyin’ a little bit in that last sentence, but one thing is for certain: Coco Crisp’s defensive play is worth focusing on and if you focus long enough, you’re probably going to see something that puts a smile on your face. Maybe even an afro.
As we enter the second half the 2012 MLB season, I want to revisit, in my (correct) opinion, the most amazing play of the year thus far. It is a play that should be repeating on every sports highlight reel in existence, but one that, like most things do in Oakland, has evaporated into east bay obscurity.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers and Mom, I give you the ASTONISHING, the ASTOUNDING, the AMAZING Covelli Loyce “Coco” Crisp:
Hang a star on that one, baby, ‘cuz that ain’t somethin’ you see every day… or EVER!
So why no love from the worldwide leader in campy schtick? Why did MLB Network not make this THE top play of June? Do they have something against Coco? Something against Oakland?
I understand that this wasn’t a DeWayne Wise “The Catch” type of play — that there was little at stake in this otherwise tame regular season baseball game. But come on. Dude made a sliding catch, then, FROM HIS BUTT rocketed the ball to second to double-up Nelson Cruz, no slouch in his own right.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe my love for Coco’s crazy is overriding my rationality, causing me to overvalue such Houdinian moves.
Or, maybe the rest of the world is WRONG.
Pretty sure it’s the latter.
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:
Hey Angel fangs, I have a friend who mightwant to know how to cork a bat. Is for a friend. You guys dont know him. Let me know…Is not me
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 1, 2012
Dee dee call last night ang said AJ beng going round school telling kids that his dad is Matt Carpenter. Who the hell is Matt Carpenter?
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 4, 2012
Dee Dee says the Sang Luis Dick’s Sports selling my Cards shirts for $1.99She thinks they making fun of my batting average.199? I wish!
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 9, 2012
Compares himself to others:
You stupid Cards fangs cant compare me ang Carlos Beltran.He gets to bat right handed ANG left handed.
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 9, 2012
Today, God was like “Hey Albert, Ing ready for you to hit a home rung…but first, I want you to look stupid striking out”. And so it was.
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 7, 2012
Just heard about Josh Hamilton….Someonge should tell him dat nobody likes a show off.
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 9, 2012
And provides sultry details to his odd albeit professional relationship with his agent Dan Lozano:
Back at Dan Lozano’s house. Blood, trash, Broken bottles. Dan sleeping. Two girls passed out ong couch. Starting to think Dan skipped church
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) April 30, 2012
Lozano was sleeping on da driveway wheng I left da house today.
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 6, 2012
Dan Lozano ang the house keeper throwing a Cinco party today. Donkeys, chickens, gunshots. Take me back to the Scott Spezio days. Crazy shit
— A. Pujols (@AnaheimAlbert) May 6, 2012
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.
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.
During this summer of über celebrity deaths and disturbing political failures, I have been very reluctant to address the most disappointing development of the 2009 Major League Baseball season. But alas, my faith (and patience) has finally come to a vitriolic end; and I have no other choice than to accept it:
Dear readers, the comedy genius of Coco Crisp is dead.
Perhaps it was always too good to be true — that the perfect storm of a fledgling, Twitter-happy, center fielder with the intelligence of a midge and a hapless baseball team touting the skills of Kyle Farnsworth would be enough to entertain me from now until October.
Indeed, it was good while it lasted. With his nonsensical, grammatically-challenged rhetorical tweets, Coco succeeded in technocracy where he failed as a Royal. But then he went on the disabled list and, finally, had season-ending surgery.
He tweeted a few times after he hung it up for the year; but sadly, he has not tweeted since June 24th and the absence of his familiar incoherency has left us all grieving.
On this day, Coco, we remember your last golden quip:
OK i officially
have a new (baseball) disease called PPA (Piss Poor Aim). Everytime i
hit a ball hard PPA kicks in. There has to be a cure.
There is no cure, Coco. If there were, well, you would’ve done much better than .228.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**We tweet. And we like to think we can pick up the Coco-comedy slack. Follow us! @RSBS
Players across the sports spectrum seem to be feeling their oats the
past couple weeks. The Lakers-Rockets NBA series has turned into a
brawl and baseball has seen several ejections and suspensions handed
down over the last several days. Are we seeing the effects of over (or
under) officiating or are players really more on edge these days?
Suspensions, brawls, warnings, headhunters, beanballs, ejections… these are all integral tenets of the sports we love. Without them, the stakes would be as dramatic as an afternoon pinochle tournament at your local retirement home (and even those can turn violent without proper supervision).
Personally, I could care less about what the Los Angeles Lakers of Los Angeles are fighting about with the Houston Rockets (those are basketball teams, right?). But perennial crybaby and major league fire-starter Milton Bradley? Foot-in-mouth Bobby Jenks? Two-packs-a-day Jimmy Leyland?
Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Indeed, the cast of characters may change from year to year, but the subtle game of intimidating your opponent and firing up your team with guts, fists and butt-busting fastballs hasn’t. Ty Cobb anyone?
No matter what the era, baseball players have always found a harmonious balance of edge and competitiveness. When your livelihood is on the line, you bet you’re gonna go out and stand up for yourself. Those who don’t… well, they end up like Mr. Krause, pushing pencils and checking email forty times a day.
Now I don’t propose an increase to the level of violence on the field; but hell, don’t peel it back. I need that respite of poorly timed right hooks (see Shields v. Crisp, 2008), knee-buckling vengeance (see Bradley v. The World, 2007) and knuckles-to-skull contact (see Ryan v. Ventura, 1993). Anyone who says he/she doesn’t is a liar.
Baseball does not suffer from under or over officiating. It’s doing just fine the way it is. Fights, ejections, suspensions… they’re all just a part of the game. When it becomes bedlam…
… well, then we might have to reevaluate.
Until then, just keep on hating me. But don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Pictures of hot chicks also welcome.
They say lightning never strikes the same place twice; but when it comes to the self-loving oft incoherent Twitter musings of one Coco Crisp, it strikes just about every hour. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
i dont know how i
did it but i slept from 1am til 2pm and the last thing i remember b4 i
woke was winning a horse race and i was the jokey
any of yaw’ll out there know bout dreams… let me know what that means.
Well, Coco, I am certainly no psychiatrist. Nor do I claim to have actual dream interpretation abilities. But my contemporaries do consider me to be the lone Freudian voice in a world of mother-loving MLBloggers, so let me try to help as best I can.
You seem to be perplexed by your mastery of slumber, Coco. I concur, sleeping for 13 hours straight is serious business. I completely understand your bafflement. I slept for 13 hours once during my college days and while from that experience my first inclination is to warn you about dangers of binge drinking, I think that, in your case, you’re just lazy. So set an alarm next time. You’ll be good to go. I promise.
Now, if the last thing you remember “b4” you “woke” was winning a horse race, well, gee, Coco… that’s great! Congratulations! Honestly, I believe this was your own mind’s ominous foretelling of the brilliant pitching performance later delivered by your perennially underachieving teammate Brian Bannister. You see, you have powers, Coco. Use them. Don’t abuse them. If you feel like you’re going to get a good pitch to hit, you probably are, so make sure you swing away. Follow your telepathic signs.
Of course, this brings us to the most troubling portion of your experience, Coco. Sure, you won the race, but in the end, you were the “jokey”. Man, let me tell ya: I’ve been down that road too and we both know it ain’t no fun. No way. To basque in the glory of triumph, to feel the ecstasy of victory, only to realize that you are indeed the “jokey” — the one everyone is laughing at — whew. Man, let’s just be honest, Coco, that su<ks. And I can’t help you.
But maybe some of “yaw’ll” (a puzzling, elongated abbreviation created by Coco himself, used to represent the shortened “ya’ll” as in “you all” but taking the time to type out one extra letter) can.
Like Coco’s pal, Barry Zito perhaps, who after somehow ditching his dead-arm persona actually managed to throw seven innings of scoreless baseball yesterday! Following his surprising performance, Zito had this to tweet:
F__k yeah baby! Let’s take this show on the road.
Sitting in my hotel in AZ, just ate best cab cakes ever at Cheesecake… You all are great, thanks for the nice comments…
Really wanna kill these D backs this weekend and go into Dodger series with momentum..
3 hrs sleep…
should have partied. Traces of adrenaline still in body, gonna go for a
walk before the mercury hits triples digits in AZ
F__k yeah, Barry! I, too, am quite fond of “cab cakes”… they’re much tastier than urinal cakes and besides, they tend to be both sweet and savory! And of course, there’s nothing quite like killing D’backs to get momentum going into Dodger stadium. I mean, think of how scared the Dodgers will be knowing you just killed an entire baseball team! I was wrong about you, Barry. You aren’t a softy; you’re a hard^ss.
But Barry, just be careful. Those aren’t traces of adrenaline in your body; those are traces of Hilary Duff and Alyssa Milano.
The itch. Tough to cure. You know this.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
For those of you anti-technocratic individuals stuck in 2005 where MySpace is your second life, Andruw Jones is your homerun leader and The Emancipation of Mimi rocks your screenless iPod Shuffle, let me tell ya: it’s time to get with the program.
And by us I mean Red State Blue State — on Twitter, the hottest albeit most meaningless social networking site that has all the kids goin’ crazy.
And do it now.
Not convinced yet?
Here is but a small sampling of prolific “tweets” by the Royals hot off-season acquisition (read them; you will laugh):
i saw a guy at
todayz that looked like the deformed dude from Goonies, i have to tell
yah i got a weak stomach. He was over where i was
autographs b4 the game and i thought it was gonna b game over for me,
but i made it… PHEWW signed his ball and all. that could
have been the weirdest moment of my life!!! 4real. Anywayz bout 2 watch Golden Child, “I want the knife…_… Pleassse”
oh yeah b4 i log i went 3-4 today and we won
red bull is amaZing
Got n 2 KC last
night. That plane ride was by far the worst i’ve ever been on. i
thought fasho i was a goner. The last 5 mins of the the
of the flight the
plane was movin like a Wakefield knuckleball lol. i just new that was
it 4 me… us but we make it.
John Buck had an awesome game. Right now tryin to make a mix tape 4
after we win, what we’ve been playin is terrible
(*note: it seems Coco was just as surprised as us that the Royals won again)
i guess when i get back of this road trip ill check out the night life. im bout 2 check out im hella tired Gnite.
You see, dear readers, sometimes the creative mind is no match for stream of consciousness junkets created by extremely talented yet severely uneducated athletes.
Amen to that.
And go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I take cheap shots at verbally challenged yet outspoken outfielders… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Yes, dear readers, those are the black tears of death running down the face of Kansas City Royals’ franchise juggernaut, Mark Teahen. As a proud member of the Royals, Teahen obviously experiences a lot of down time. So instead of wallowing away in the wasteland that is the Royals’ prospects at winning this year, Mark appears to be flirting with his death metal alter ego Marduk Two-Bagger.
In an effort to boost his fettered teammates’ moribund morale, Teahen also recorded an album featuring some quality head-thrashing tracks that aim to electrify underground metal clubs all across US America and inject fear into the ripped-out hearts of AL Central foes. Some of the more titillating featured titles from this album are:
Skulling Tony Pena
Thrash and Mesh Gil’s Misanthropic Meche
Goliath Killed David’s DeJesus
Nequaquam Vacuums and CoCo Crisps: Eat Them and DIE!!!
Crucify Kyle Farnsworth
Something tells me Kyle won’t have any problem doing that on his own…
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image Courtesy of the Associated Press)
*The above story is completely false… and by false I mean it’s true… in my own little fantasyland.
Thursday night’s brawl between the Rays and the Red Sox showcased, once
again, that baseball players just can’t fight very well. So, here’s the
question (in two parts): 1) What is the best baseball brawl you’ve ever
seen and 2) which 2 players would you most like to see duke it out?
While it’s true that baseball players tend to be awful at fighting on the field, there is no doubt that a bench-clearing brawl is one of the most exciting parts of the game. In every case there is some kind of ‘other’ energy at play as soon as a hitter decides to charge the mound and whether he lands a punch or not, most people would be lying if they said they didn’t enjoy watching that kind of drama unfold. The brawls tend to be explosions of emotions that have been built up over a long period of time: clubs with histories, beanball wars, personal vendettas, et al tend to set the stage for the best fights in the game, and I totally get off on seeing those frustrations blow up. The Prince of New York wrote a great post (*click here to read*) on the dueling psychologies of baseball brawl analysis and he’s absolutely correct in his conclusion that most people enjoy them (or get off on them like me) — even if they try to conceal it.
That being said, I have to admit that I often feel let down when a Coco Crisp or a James Shields wails and misses outright… or when an Iwamura throws a couple of sissy-punches that are more for show and less impacting. It’s like watching softcore pOrn on Cinemax: show me the real thing or I’m better off watching reruns of Full House.
The best baseball brawl I’ve ever seen?
I think we all know there is only one right answer to that question, so before I reveal what everyone already knows, let me make some honorable mentions:
Big Z v. Michael Barrett; Big Z v. Gatorade Cooler
Hands down, Carlos Zambrano is the most explosive personality in the game right now. An atomic fist fight waiting to happen, Big Z showed some real hutzpah last year when he decked his own catcher, Michael Barrett, in the face after an onfield dispute regarding pitch selection or whatever… who cares… this fight was awesome. Cardinal fans always love to see internal dissension in the home dugout at Wrigley, but what made it even more awesome was the jacked up face of Michael Barrett the next day. Of course, in the end, this fight was the catalyst that got Barrett out of Chicago, setting the stage for Rookie of the Year candidate Geovany Soto to make his breakthrough as the Cubs’ catcher. I’m hoping that Big Z can find a reason to hate Soto too, but I’m not putting any money on it.
What I am putting money on is that if Big Z gives up a go-ahead homerun to Matt Kemp late in an otherwise flawless pitching performance, not even the Gatorade cooler is safe. Don’t believe me? Check out the pounding Zambrano gave this poor, helpless, inanimate object.
Izzy Alcantara’s Foot v. Catcher’s Face
Besides having a really cool name, this Pawtucket minor leaguer will go down in history as one of the smartest basebrawlers of all time. To ensure that the catcher wouldn’t hold him back, he gave him a swift back kick to the face! What is sad about this fight is that when he finally reached the mound, he let everyone down by dancing around and ultimately getting mauled himself (*click here to watch*). Ah, such wasted potential.
Mike Sweeney v. Jeff Weaver
If ever there were two lameball pacifist fighters pitted against one another, these would be the two. This fight didn’t even have anything to do with pitch location; it was all about something Weaver said (allegedly) behind his glove. Sweeney didn’t like it and charged the mound while Weaver had his back to the plate. What does make this an awesome fight is that Weaver had no idea Sweeney was coming and by the time he turned around, it was too late. Much like Alcantara, Sweeney used a diversion tactic by first slinging his batting helmet at Weaver before taking him to the ground and landing a few solid body blows. Good times.
Good times aside, these fights are equally catatonic in comparison to the greatest basebrawl of all time:
Nolan Ryan v. Robin “Sissy-pants” Ventura
There’s nothing quite like making a mannish dash for the mound to fight someone who is old enough to be your father and then getting put in a headlock only to have your skull, nose, jaw pounded on by the strikeout king. I can’t say enough about how bad*ss the Ryan Express was in this matchup and I highly doubt anyone will ever come close to equaling his solidly aggressive performance — ever. This fight is as unlikely to be surpassed as is Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hit streak. It just ain’t gonna happen.
But there are some fellas I’d like to see go up against one another in the near future. Albert Pujols is only one bad pitch away from knocking the snot out of Brandon Backe. As their ongoing series of differences escalates, I believe Backe realizes more and more that he has absolutely no chance against an angry A.P., but if anything, Backe has already proven to the world that he’s not exactly Fulbright quality. I eagerly await his date with number 5’s right hook.
But the potential ironclad matchup I deem most notable, most exciting, most entertaining would be: Milton Bradley v. Carlos Zambrano. Both of these guys are nuts! and suffer from extreme anger management issues. No one, no thing is safe when these two are on the field and that includes first base coaches, pitching hands and the aforementioned sufferings of that poor, helpless Gatorade cooler in L.A.
I’d give my left (ahem) to see Big Z pitch Bradley inside and just see what happens. If there is a god…
…but just in case there isn’t, we’ll always have the mysteriously entertaining rituals of Ko
rean baseball brawls:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right…