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.
Anything wrong with that? Not in my opinion. In a world full of greed, hate, debauchery and Cubs baseball, I find solace knowing that even the tireless spin-doctoring and smoke-screening of Rod Blagojevich eventually falls on the deaf ears of a nation distracted with the task of rebuilding itself.
Blago’s days as governor are as numbered as Joe Morgan is annoying; and soon, he will just be another political coelacanth — a footnote in the oppression and wasted tax-dollars of a people.
In my fervent bidding adieu, I refuse to let Blago’s self-indulgent, gloomy demise get me down. The older I get, the more I realize how little my brain can actually remember if not trained otherwise; thus, I find it best to replace negativity with post-partisan positivity. So it is, on this four degree Sunday afternoon, with a broken heart and three cups of coffee too many, that I find grace in the baseball-politico memories dearest to me.
Of course, there are always the Joe Carters, the Kirk Gibsons, the Ozzie Smiths… the inauguration of a new hope for my country… those are all givens. Today I focus on the obscure, the seemingly minute, the more poignant personal moments that help me to forget about what an awful place this earth can be sometimes. And so I begin…
Ozzie Guillen Goes to Bobby Jenks
A move he’s made several times, but never as interesting as it was during the 2005 post-season when Ozzie motioned for Jenks by extending his arms out sideways as if to say: “Bring in the fat fella.”
Talking to Carlos Lee Outside Wrigley Field
Having gone hitless against Ted Lilly that night, I was stunned to see a smiling Carlos Lee on the corner of Sheffield and Addison waiting to get on the Astros player’s bus. I approached him — all gargantuan 230 plus pounds of him — and flippantly asked: “Caballo, what happened?”
“Ball move too much, man.”
I’m still laughing at that one.
“Yes We Can” Viral Video
Sure, I admit I’m a sucker for inspirational acts of creativity… this one still gets me.
Brian Anderson’s Catch
Picture it, October 1, 2008… a one game playoff between the White Sox and Twins to crown the AL Central winner, and a Jim Thome homerun is all that separates the two when we reach the top of the ninth and two outs. A sharp flare streamlines to right center field, in comes Brian Anderson… instant party on the Southside.
Bill Clinton on Carroll Quigley, DNC 1992
As a young, impressionable, questioning 12 year-old, this quote pushed me in to politics… to stay.
Adam Wainwright’s Curveball
Whether it was striking out Carlos Beltran looking or Brandon Inge swinging, I’ve never seen a more devastating hook — ever.
Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Address
I thought a change was a comin’… didn’t know it was going to take so long, but it got me revved up nonetheless.
Yadier Molina Hitting .304 in 2008
After the rocket homerun he hit off Aaron Heilman to beat the Mets in the 2006 NLCS, Molina became my indisputable hero. To see him blossom into a true hitter in conjunction with his unrivaled defensive skills just makes me want to hug the guy any chance I get. Yadi, you out there, pal? Let’s hook that up.
Grandma Lois Talking Baseball
May she rest in peace, my beloved grandmother was talking Cardinals baseball like no other 84 year-old I knew. Before the 2004 season, she told me: “It’d be nice to see Edmonds and Rolen have really good years.” She died on April 20, 2004; Jimmy and Scott both put up career numbers and vied for the MVP. I know she’s still smiling about that one.
Post 9/11 Baseball in New York
I’d be hard pressed to find a more inspiring, more electric, more communal surge of patriotic energy and overall bipartisan goodwill towards all through the greatest game on earth than what took place in New York City that fall.
I still get goosebumps just thinking of it.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
“The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and
Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled
together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have
not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the
United States of America.“
— Barack Obama, August 28, 2008
We here at RSBS realize
that we have spent a great amount of time this season in what some
simple-minded individuals might consider exacerbating the divide
between hard working baseball-loving Americans. But let me just clear
the air and say that what they see as divisive, we see as unifying. We do what we have to because we can, we will and most of all: we care. When we see injustices, when we endure the pains of partisanship, hear the cries of the people, we have little choice but to report the truth and expound cautionary messages.
And sometimes we might just piss you off.
Well, not today, folks.
After last night’s call for unifying hope among color and party lines, I have nothing in my heart but love. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one:
as you already know: I’m no idiot. It is painfully clear that John
McCain’s “congratulations on a job well done, Senator” was as smarmy
and spurious as it was preplanned beyond anality. But I’m feeling
splendid today. I’m feeling patriotic. I’m feeling swept up in an
emotional wind of change. I’m ready to reach across the aisle and be
nice to someone for no other reason than to be nice to someone. And
just for today, I want to believe that McCain’s gesture was at least
rooted in good will.
So, here’s my crack at it:
Dear Cub Fans:
have a really great team this year. I’m not just saying that. You
do. Your team has the best record in baseball (at the time of this
publication) and they have what it takes to go a long way on both sides
of the field. The Cubs’ pitching is great. Cubs’ hitting is timely.
Your team has a wise and great leader in Lou. I know I give you a hard
time for the banality of your collective souls, for being obnoxious, for your whining and crying all the time; but hey, I just want to tell you job well done on supporting your team for actually playing well. That’s so good of you.
Dear McCain Campaign:
You did a really cool thing in choosing Sarah Palin as your Vice Presidential nominee.
Job well done. I’m not even going to mention that your whole campaign
platform against Senator Obama revolves around his alleged
‘inexperience’ in politics. And on that note, I won’t bring up the
fact that she has next to no high profile ‘experience’ in
leadership. And believe me, I’m not going to waste time calling this
move what it probably is: a meager attempt to shift focus from the
strong warning shot of change resonating throughout this great land.
Yes, Senator McCain. You really are a maverick. You are awesome.
Dear Yankees Fans:
your team isn’t so hot this year. So what. Jason Giambi’s fashion
statement is pretty cool. Sure, it will never match the infamy of Giambi-on-Juice, but hey, at least it reminds us of one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes, right? Okay, so the Giambi mustache won’t be a classic; but it will be remembered.
And in a season that has a million reasons why you’d want to forget it,
at least Giambi came through in the clutch by taking your mind off all
of your woes, if just for a day.
Dear A.J. Pierzynski Haters:
really admire your persistence and passion for hating one baseball
player so much that you would comment on this blog by using the phrase “AJ P is a piece of crap” (see comments, fourth one from the bottom). That is classy. That is brilliant. And it stands out as a truly mesmerizing use of the English language. Job well done, A.J. haters.
Dear Detroit Tigers:
You guys are doing an awesome job of acting like you still care about
the remainder of the 2008 season. I know that your thoughts are really
on what type of yacht you’ll be purchasing for that winter cruise
around the Venezuelan coast, what with all that money you raked in this season without having to… well, you know, win
games. Believe me, I think I know how hard it is to feign interest in
something that I’d rather not be doing just so I could collect some
dough, so I commend you all for your standout steadfastness in pretend attentiveness. That’s what I call a job well done!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Every media outlet has been full of Olympic coverage for the past few months. We watched as French surrender-monkeys and dentally deficient Britons tried to tackle, steal or otherwise snuff the Olympic flame during its journey to the Bird’s Nest and then we saw the Chinese defy gravity to set the torch alight and begin the games.
Although the passing of the torch always seems to provoke strong emotions, these emotions tend to play out differently depending on the setting. When Jesse Owens overcame the Fuhrer’s supposedly invincible Aryan champions at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he tried to defuse the situation by saying that Hitler had shown him respect. Michael Phelps managed to show a touch of class this year as he overcame Mark Spitz’s decades old record.
But sometimes the old guard is reluctant to let the torch out of their grasp. When the Yankees had the Red Sox in a 3-0 stranglehold during the 2004 ALCS, it seemed that the old guys had a little life left in them. But they should have realized that they had used up all the gas in the tank during the previous year’s ALCS. The Yankees may have won that 2003 series but in reality, Pedro Martinez body-slamming Don Zimmer was emblematic of the rivalry’s not too distant future. And in 2004 they proved it by fighting back to win the ALCS and then the World Series.
A similar fight broke out during the primary season as the junior senator from Illinois took on the Clinton juggernaut. And when the dust finally settled at the Democratic National Convention last night, it was obvious that the party the Clinton’s created was now firmly in the hands of Sen. Obama. Sure, there were a few last grasps for the torch (Hillary’s non-concession speech back in June for example) but the look on former President Clinton’s face during Sen. Clinton’s speech Wednesday night told the whole story.
So, how does one pass the torch gracefully and not get burned in the process? Well, you could take a lesson from Ted Kennedy (2008 Ted Kennedy, not 1980 Ted Kennedy)
Or you could look to Richard Nixon who so graciously handed off to Gerald Ford in 1974. However, I suggest avoiding the example of the 1997 and 2003 Florida Marlins. Or Jay Mariotti. Burning bridges and fire sales are tacky even in the best of times.