When people mention the Pittsburgh Pirates, you assume that nothing good can follow. But there are exceptions to that rule, at least if you believe Time magazine. Two weeks ago Time not only said the Pirates are doing something right, they also said the organization is an example to be followed.
It’s no secret that MLB spends a lot of money looking for fresh talent overseas. Many of the greatest players in the game today and in the past are products of that search. MLB has harvested the fertile fields of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Curacao (just to name a few) to give us players like Big Papi, Johan Santana and Andruw Jones. That is not going to stop.
But Time raises the alarmist cry, decrying the conditions in the DR and castigating teams for not providing the same level of living standards the writer claims exist for young players in the US. At the same time, the article gets a little schizophrenic, insinuating that the DR will go the way of PR if baseball decides to treat them the same way it now deals with the territory. The article claims, “After the U.S. commonwealth became subject to the draft in the (sic) 1989, the
number of Puerto Rican signees remained flat, while those in the D.R.
What I read in that, though, is that despite Puerto Rican players now going through the draft, the number entering MLB each year stayed constant. If anything, that seems to imply that the system worked. Puerto Ricans still made it to the majors, they just followed a route that ensured they got their fair share. And if you can play, you’re going to get paid.
Look, it’s no secret that many kids see sports as a way out of a bad situation. That’s just as true in the US as it is in the DR. But do we crucify Nike for running basketball tournaments in the inner city where they can then get their hooks into promising young talent? Do you think Coach K runs a basketball camp each year out of the kindness of his heart? Both Nike and Krzyzewski realize that most of those kids are never going to make it, even at the collegiate level. And it’s not like they’re taking care of them when the inevitable happens and the dream of an NBA career shatters.
This is how sports operate. They offer the hope of a better future but that future is only available to a very select group. What happens in the DR is sad and most of these kids will never end up making it. But it’s even more sad that the government of the DR can’t provide basic services to its citizens and MLB is supposed to step in and fill the gap. At least baseball offers them a dream. That’s a lot more than the Pirates offer their fans.
Special thanks to L for the article
“I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’, and I can prove it.”
— Ed “Butch” Panczko, ruthless Chicago gangster
It is the year 2009, dear readers, and I would think that by now, every single one of us has seen enough cop dramas on television to know that you never, ever, ever tell on yourself. You just don’t do it. Big Papi knows this. So does Roger Clemens. Why is it then that the Chicago White Sox — who reside not far from the famed warehouse district were body after lifeless body went to disappear forever — do not understand this golden rule of foul play?
First we watched as Bobby Jenks told the whole world that he purposely threw at Ian Kinsler — which netted him a $750 fine and a watchful eye from MLB brass — and now we have Ozzie Guillen himself blabbing to anyone who will listen that he’s out to bean anyone whom he suspects of throwing at his guys. What next? Kenny Williams owns up to jaywalking? Check.
Look, it’s one thing to protect your team and head-hunt in retaliation. Hell, in this game, it’s expected! But to openly admit that you are going to throw at people, to announce to everyone that you intend on hurting someone, to alert the league that you’re going to send a message… well, that is just plain irresponsible. And dumb.
Yep. Tell a story. Do the opposite. Leave ’em guessin’.
That, my friends, is the Chicago way.
Even political nimrod figurehead Rod Blagojevich knows this.
And he’s a Cubs fan.
What’s your excuse, White Sox?
Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(*Ozzie Guillen’s grill image courtesy of Da Bronx Bombers)
I really should be talking about all the seismic events that have shaken the baseball universe over the past few days. New steroids revelations, gigantic trades, even bigger non-trades and it seems like each game has a bit more of an edge. But there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said better by someone else. And that’s why I’m going to talk about a subject less fraught with peril. A subject that is not subject to the nefariousness of political infighting. A subject that is plainly, simply oh so delicious.
Yep, beer. You can get it at a ballpark. You can sit at home drinking it while watching a ballgame. It’s social, it’s private and it’s not subject to politics. It’s not like the political discourse of a nation is going to suddenly hinge on the idea of four guys sitting around drinking a frosty brewed beverage while there are huge problems like health care staring us in the face. Right? Right?
Seriously man! When did beer become so important in politics? Don’t get me wrong, beer is important. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without beer (a somewhat ironic statement given my current circumstances). But beer as a prop in an oddly inflammatory racial brouhaha? What’s next, baseball getting pulled into a Supreme Court nomination?
Man, I really should just keep my mouth shut.
Well, let’s see, I did Testosterone Propionate, Methyltestosterone, Clomid, Laurabolin, Nolvadex, HGH, Masteril, Agoviron, Ambosex, Chorvlon, L-Thyroxine, Clomid, Euthyrox, Neo-Hombreol, Maxiolin Elixier and a little bit of Testo-Enant and then I watched David Ortiz go yard against the Oakland Athletics.
Athletics? Please. If it ain’t full of Riboxifen it ain’t no athlete.
But who cares anyway? I’m sick of talking about this and I imagine dear readers are too so let’s talk about something a bit more titillating, shall we?
It is no secret that the merits of baseball relevant beauties have long been a popular subject at RSBS. From Erin Andrews to Gong Li (somehow related, trust us) to Kendra Andrews, we and our loyal interns always go for broke. That is why we are happy to announce that the crew at Fantasy Baseball Dugout has launched its 2009 edition of the Hottest Baseball Wives contest.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(*Images courtesy of Fantasy Baseball Dugout)
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’s official. Joe Biden will be Barack Obama’s running mate for the 2008 presidential election. I’m okay with it. Really. I am.
I only hope that this duo will be reminiscent of the one-two punch of Schilling and Johnson who took it all the way in 2001.
I only hope that this duo will look more like Gehrig and Ruth on the field rather than Gehrig and Ruth off the field.
I only hope that this duo has enough to beat the critics and become the mighty force that Big Papi and Manny Ramirez became in Boston.
Will Biden being Biden become the hottest new catchphrase of 2008? While my hopes against that happening remain high, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit my anxiety that Biden may demand a trade at the very last minute.
Hold on to your seats, folks, dear readers, my fellow US Americans…
We’re just gettin’ started.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
At the midway point in the season, it seems like every week we hear
about another marquee name that has landed on the DL. Which of these
injuries will turn out to be most significant to their team and who do
you think will go down next?
Okay, Al. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to sound smart again — like you actually know what you’re talking about. That’s fine. Let me remind you that Red State Blue State is read by many an intelligent person (and some not so intelligent – see urinal diving at Wrigley). This means that every once in a while you have to try a little harder, go the extra proverbial mile or dare I say: write something.
Now that that is off my chest, I will indulge you with an answer…
People get hurt. It’s part of the game. You know this. The better teams rise above injuries and continue to play well despite the setbacks. The Red Sox have been doing this without David Ortiz. The Cardinals have been doing this without Chris Carpenter. The Cubs have been doing this without Alfonso Soriano. Obviously, having a star player out with an injury cannot help any team; but I think it’s safe to say that all the teams that are in contention will not be devastated by an injury of one person alone, at least, not yet as we’re only halfway there.
Will the Mariners suffer without J.J. Putz? Maybe. But guess what, they’ve been suffering all season long, so life without Putz can’t be much worse than life with him. Will the Indians have difficulties without Victor Martinez in the lineup? Perhaps. But once again, the Indians have been su<king with Martinez, so losing him won’t make them much worse. In some cases, an injured player is better than a healthy one. Take the Tigers’ Dontrelle Willis for example. The guy is worth much more to his team hurt (and out of the lineup) since when healthy he wasn’t able to find the strike zone with Google Maps and a Smart Bomb. Willis was hurting the Tigers every fifth day by walking 5, 6, 7, 8 guys a game!
My question is this: at this point, who really cares if the Mariners, Indians, Tigers, Pirates ad nauseum do suffer “key” injuries? None of these teams have a shot at contention in the first place, so it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.
The better teams are good with their stars. The best teams survive without them.
…who do you think will go down next?
In this particular case, Al, it’s not just one person who is “going down” next; it’s an entire people and their dreams. I realize that the suburbanites of Detroit are just now waking up from their Hockeytown heroics — hung over and cotton-mouthed — realizing that their baseball team is still an absolute joke. Sure, they had a good stretch there a couple weeks ago, but the standings don’t lie and they have so far to go now that it just seems too daunting a task. And all those injuries… whoo wee. How on earth could they ever come back from that?
I’m here to tell you that they won’t, folks.
Make plans for October, Tiger fans, ‘cuz you’re going to have a lot of free time.
In fact, why don’t you just settle down for another painful football season full of Matt Millen, Matt Millen and Matt Millen.
Of course, humble MLBlogger that I am, I must admit that I’m writing this drunk with sorrow from the ill-fated weekend had by Cardinal fans worldwide. I’m sitting here watching my inbox blow up with what I’m sure are rampant evil expletives from the equally drunk (with alcohol) Cub fan base that can’t seem to leave me alone. As I attempt to mend my feelings and my dopamine levels, I promise more will follow soon. I lost a bet or two that will surely embarrass me tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll all want to revel in that.
In the meantime, do me a favor and don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.