Seriously. There is no guarantee. There is NEVER a guarantee (right, Red Sox?).
Whether you’re listening to the Worldwide Leader of Dopes or MLBN or that fat guy at the end of the bar who just won’t shut up, you’ve probably heard some variation of the following phrase regarding the AL Central:
Yeah, but the Tigers are the better team and they’re going to win the division.
Oh really? Then what are they been waiting for? Hockey season?!? It’s coming!!!
Sure the Tigers have been playing better baseball the second half, but the truth is, the White Sox have been playing championship-caliber baseball. And what is championship-caliber baseball? It’s winning in walk-off fashion even though you allowed the Mariners to come back from 5-run deficit in the top of the 9th. It’s getting gutsy performances out of nobodies like DeWayne Wise. It’s having your MVP catcher thrown out of the game only to have his backup, Tyler Flowers, be the hero. TWICE.
Verlander, Cabrera, Prince. Indeed, these are mighty names with infinite possibility.
But possibility is no match for performance. And as long as long as the White Sox keep getting more than the Tigers, then all those analysts and “experts” would do well to right their wordy ships and recognize the truth from potential.
Also, there is a White Sox fan holding a gun to my head as I write this.
And he asks that you don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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.
Matt Cain this week threw what some people are saying was the best “perfect game” ever. Is it really possible to say that one perfect game is better than another and, if so, which one would you vote for?
I think so, but such a statement comes with the caveat that one would have a hard time quantifying it. Why is it the best? Because of Mr. Krause? Because of Mr. Lung? Because of the interns?
That’s just the very beginning of a long list of things that makes RSBS the G.O.A.T.
But can we quantify what exactly makes one perfecto better than another? Not really. But it’s fun trying. For example, Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a perfect game (Sandy Koufax, 1965), which clearly demonstrates superior command and dominance over the opposition. Cain also threw 19 first pitch strikes and never got himself in a 2-0 count. Meanwhile, his defense did some dazzling. Both the 6th and 7th innings featured unbelievable catches in the outfield that, had they not been made, would have sunk the perfect game effort. The last out, a hard ground ball to third base that put Joaquin Arias in a stutter step also provided one final gasping twist to the accomplishment. All of the above, plus Cain’s eery zen mound presence throughout it all, provide plenty of quantification for it being the “best” perfect game ever.
Still, it’s relative. And maybe we see it as the “best” right now because it’s fresh in our minds.
I recall Randy Johnson’s 2004 effort against the Braves as being one of the most dominate games I’ve ever seen too. The Big Unit struck out 13 in that game and was throwin’ nasty stuff all the while. David Cone didn’t see a 2-0 count in his 1999 perfecto against the late Expos, a game where he also had to sit out for a 33-minute rain delay, on Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen in the stands!
But, for me, the best perfect game I’ve ever seen came on a lazy Thursday afternoon in July 2009, when Mark Buehrle pitched himself into the record books, again. What made that game so special, for me, was that I was watching it at work and by the 8th inning, I was watching it with the UPS man, the FedEx man and yes, even the mail man. When Dewayne Wise made “the catch” we reveled in our mutual south sidedness and gave each other big, sweaty man-hugs.
That’s the sorta thing that only happens once in a lifetime, so I’ll be hanging my hat on the Buehrle perfecto for the forseeable future. But that’s just me.
You can hate me for that. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.
Dear (So and So Business Associate),
I hope this finds you well rested after the long Thanksgiving holliday. Your question really needs little thought to answer, for the best single volume on Chinese symbolism is most definitelyHidden Meanings…
Did you catch that?
No, not my inane nice guy approach (which I admit, reeks of staleness). I mean did you catch my spelling error?
Holiday. Not holliday. Silly Jeff.
If this can happen to me, it can happen to you. Dear readers, if you allow your baseball nerdiness to infect your everyday life then please at least take the extra careful step of proofreading your work-related correspondences.
And that goes for everything work related. The baseball gods blessed me with a 24/7 baseball persona, but they weren’t careful enough to provide me with a reality censor. Some things slip by and the result can be as catastrophic as postseason errors by the Tigers pitching staff (eat it, Mr. Krause; it’s never going to go away).
Other mistakes I’ve made at work include but are not limited to the following:
- Screaming out Holy F***! when DeWayne Wise made “The Catch”
- Telling the mailman he reminded me of a young, early 60s era Dal Maxvill to which he replied: “That’s the coffee with the Columbian guy on the front, right?” Wrong.
- Asking a client to hold (while I sat in an online queue to score Cards/Cubs tickets)
- Turning red in the face while explaining to a colleague that a batter cannot advance to first base on a dropped third strike if there’s a guy on first! Jesus Christ I know what I’m f****** talkin’ about here, man!
The above are all avoidable, but when we find ourselves in the trenches of the holiday season and the two most sought free agents are named Holliday and Halladay, someone is bound to find himself in a world of blunder.
And that’s what we want to help you avoid.
So, y’know, don’t mess up. Like I did.
Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I fell victim to the occasional spelling error, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
“My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.“
— Al Capone (1899-1947)
Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.
“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.“
— Al Capone
Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub. Now that’s clout! When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ’em who’s boss with that move. Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers. Yeah, take that. The Cubs got Gathright. Whoowee, watch out world!
But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there! No, the White Sox kept ’em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise!
And wait! There’s more…
New York, you think you had a crooked governor? Ha!
You hear that? He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois. Dying! See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them. No. They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood! BOO-YEAH!
Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE! Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again! Duh, my friends. Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes. The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago! We do things our way — the US American way!
“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
— Al Capone
Me too, dear readers.
Look, it’s true. I love Chicago. I really do. It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah.
And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:
Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.