As a Cardinals fan living in the Chi, the baseball season never really begins for me until St. Louis comes to town and I get my first taste of blood as I camp out at Wrigley for a weekend. Black eyes, sprained ankles, hoarse voice… all welcome reminders of just how deep (and serious) this rivalry can be.
But the older I get, the clearer I see, which is why I can say with brutal honesty that the Chicago Cubs are the absolute best rival a fan could ask for.
Yep. That’s right. They’re the best. Because they don’t… win… championships.
Think about it. Yankees fans, remember how awful you felt when the Red Sox overcame in 2004? And what about having to watch Papelbon’s antics during the 2007 run? Reverse that and imagine the utter malcontent suffered by the Red Sox for eons while the Yankees ran up the World Series trophy count.
Giants fans must’ve been sick watching Kirk Gibson’s shot in 1988. And likewise, those Dodgers fans who saw Willie Mays’ catch seal the deal in 1954 couldn’t have been too happy.
But we Cardinals fans… seriously, what the hell do we have to be sick about? We have the best player in baseball, we have arguably the best manager in baseball, and our arch rivals haven’t won jack scheisse in over 100 years.
With that in mind, as I prepare for the annual battle that is Cubs v. Cards, this year I’m gonna focus on the fact that this rivalry is a lame duck rivalry — that I can be confident my team will be better. Therefore I am going to focus on the visual pleasantries that (surprisingly) can be found in abundance at the Friendly Confines.
Now, wish me luck.
Hate me ‘cuz I try to see all the angles, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Sometimes ya just run in to somethin’ and have no choice but to say:
Hate me ‘cuz I made you look at that, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image via Skull Swap)
For the last man in the universe who still religiously employs the use of both suspenders and shoulder pads, the April 21st edition of the New York Post couldn’t have been too flattering.
Or could it?
Okay, so according to the Post, Larry’s wife (we’ll call her Shawn)* allegedly had an affair with his sons’ little league coach (we’ll call him Hector) but allegedly King — who, by the way, is a rabid Los Angeles Dodgers fan — didn’t really care ‘cuz he was bonin’ Shawn’s sister (we’ll call her Manny)** on the side.
And I must admit, I first heard of this story via that awful fear aggregator also known as The Drudge Report with the headline: “Little League Coach Claims Affair with Larry King’s Wife”.
At first I was really angry with Drudge (which is quite common) because I found that headline to be recklessly damaging to the institution of little league baseball — an institution that made me the sound, boisterous, STUBBORNLY CORRECT individual I am today. I thought, “Oh, okay, now Drudge is attacking little league. Let me at him!”
Until I read the story… and realized that it was little league baseball that brought them together. It brought them all together in one place, to interact, to make whoopie.
And it was at that exact moment that I realized the bar, the club, the beach might not be the ideal place to meet Ms. Right.
So if you need me, I’ll be at a little league ballpark near you hollerin’ at the single moms and estranged wives of the rich and famous.
Don’t worry, Mrs. Kucinich, I got ya on my radar. Muah!
Hate me ‘cuz it’s allowed, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*That’s her real name.
**I meant to write “Shannon” but was too lazy to change it.
No matter what magnitude of socio-political strides are made in US America, if you wait long enough, some belligerent old white guy will eventually send us back a few decades by saying something un-politically correct. And whether such belligerence explodes during a live interview with Ted Koppel or simmers in the pages of a newly published book that most people haven’t yet read, one thing is absolutely clear: evolution could use a little help in the humanoid self-censor department.
To me, what is most peculiar in the case of Harry Reid saying our country “was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American with no Negro dialect” is that he was quoted as saying this some time ago, presumably knowing it would eventually show up in a public forum, somewhere. I find that just a bit less forgiving than telling a live, nationally televised audience that “blacks may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager,” which is exactly what Al Campanis said when donning his ignorance cap back in April 1987.
In both cases, someone in power — a white someone in power — said something offensive, something abrasive, something that nicked at years and years of progress; and for that, we cannot allow ourselves to just be silent. We have to say, do, discuss something.
Campanis’ remarks got him fired. Reid’s probably won’t, though that is not to say they shouldn’t. I’m not the racism czar, so I don’t really know, and I’m glad that I don’t have to make such decisions.
But I can say that the time for social readjustment is always now; it’s always relevant. Reid (and Campanis before him) said out loud what many people still believe to be true. Far from ideal, this country (and its people) still have a lot of learning to do. Remember, it took our species thousands and thousands of years to finally realize the earth is round, not flat.
And the only way we can come to a mutual understanding of the truth is to work together. So yeah. Let’s do that, shall we?
In the meantime, this racially charged hiccup does have a fulfilling footnote. Reid’s comments came to light through the publication of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s new book entitled Game Change. And if you go to Game Change‘s Amazon.com entry, scroll down to the critical reviews, you will find a ginormous gem of a quote from Barack Obama:
“This s*** would be really interesting if we weren’t in the middle of it.”
Agreed, Mr. President. Absolutely agreed.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Congratulations on winning the World Series, fellas. You kept me interested by keeping things interesting; you played great baseball all season long; you are champions of the universe. You deserve — and receive — my recognition.
But I still don’t like you.
And that’s a good thing. It’s good for me, good for you. It’s good for baseball in general.
I am human and humans hold grudges… even if they are stupid.
That’s right. 1996. Three terrible things happened to me in 1996: Tupac Shakur was murdered. The Yankees won the World Series for the first time since 1978. And MC Hammer went bankrupt.
I can only hope that this present calamity is not followed by two equally devastating events.
Luckily, it has coincided with at least one current positive from the baseball cosmos: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Vicente Padilla (species name vicenteticus padillicarpeus), shot himself in the leg earlier this week near his home in Nicaragua, lending even more credence to the “Padilla Once Shot Himself In the Face” theory of explaining why he is so goddamn ugly.
Life is about balance.
I like it that way.
Hate me ‘cuz I hit neanderthals below the belt, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image at the top courtesy of Three Frames)
This week’s filibuster question is being addressed by a longtime colleague of RSBS who, while he may not always makes people happy, always provokes a response. Maxwell P. Framington, take it away.
Since you guys are into politics, too, I wonder if you thought about how
the League Championship Series sort of mirror politics. New York
money, two L.A. glitz and glamor teams. Philadelphia. Where is middle
America in all of this?
Troy, middle America is exactly where it belongs right now. At home, cooking meth before hitting the bar in hopes of subsequently procreating with whatever is left standing (or sitting or laying passed out on the floor). After too many years of mediocre teams from cities that no longer matter stealing the limelight and torpedoing the television ratings, baseball is right back where it belongs. On the coasts, with the intellectual and monetary elite.
I’ll grant you this, Troy. We may not always be there for the first pitch and we may not stay to see the final out but we do appreciate the roar of the crowd as we sip on our organic vodka gimlets. And let’s be honest. It doesn’t really matter anyway since our seats are all owned by the corporation and it’s better that we grace them for a moment as opposed to letting them sit empty the entire evening.
The dirty little secret that you really should have figured out by now Troy, is that middle America only matters in election years. And even then, only a small fraction of its residents truly count. And that’s true of both baseball and politics. Are you really not going to tune in for a Dodgers-Yankees World Series? Of course you are. You have nothing else to do out there except harvest corn and fire up a little more speed in your favorite broken light bulb. But if it’s the Tigers and Cardinals playing, who on the coasts is going to care? We have restaurants, culture and important jobs. If the team that we occasionally proclaim loyalty to isn’t playing, we’ll just go work on getting that reservation at Babbo instead.
But don’t worry, Troy. Next year is mid term elections so you can be sure the politicians will work their way out among the proletariat once again and bring you that attention you seem to crave so much. And you can also be sure that some team from a state who’s entire population is limited to seven last names as a result of inbreeding will once again find themselves in the playoffs. Personally, I’ll be planning my Christmas ski vacation. What do you think, Troy? Heli-skiing in the Andes or the typical chalet in the Alps?
-Maxwell “Max” P. Framington
RSBS would like to apologize for Max’s comments. We forgot that he’s also kind of a d!ck.
While you and I spend our time wondering when the Phillies bullpen will
next self destruct or why there aren’t as many green M&Ms as there
are brown, or how long it will take Glenn Beck to realize we’re laughing at him, not with him, there are some people in the world (scientists and such as) who pass the time by making ground breaking discoveries, actually furthering the intellect of the human mind.
Move over Lucy. Make way for Ardi.
That’s right. Australopithecus afarensis,
an extinct hominid (most commonly known as Lucy), who was once thought
to be our oldest common ancestor, now must take a backseat to the most
recently proclaimed elder of bipedalism: Ardipithecus (or Ardi for short).
Like it or not, this is a big deal because Ardi is a million years older than Lucy! Consider her the
cougar of the archaeological bar scene. And with her discovery, the
entire evolutionary map of modern day humans and just exactly where we came
from, how we evolved, what we once were, has been totally rewritten.
It is no longer safe to say we share a common ancestor with
chimpanzees. More likely than not, we came from Ardi and whoever (or
whatever) came before her. Her construction is rare, odd, striking: a
bipedal creature with an opposable big toe; an animal that walks
upright on land but acts as a quadruped in its arboreal environment,
Ardi is the corner border in a 5 gazillion trillion piece puzzle that
is the evolutionary road to modern day humans.
We’re starting to know where we came from.
Yet the only plausible explanation science can come up with for where the
ugly flop-sweat of a man known as Vicente Padilla came from is this
thing from the Clash of the Titans:
Hate me ‘cuz I don’t pull punches, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**Special thanks to Jason Russell for the pic and assist. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonrussellUT