This might keep me from being one of the cool kids, but I’m not sweatin’ it because I’ve been there in the flesh, watched it on T.V. and the truth is: the Home Run Derby blows.
It’s boring. It’s fabricated. It’s full of… nothing happening.
It’s made for T.V., that’s for sure, but it’s not baseball. It takes one small, often over hyped aspect of the game and blows it up to the point where it’s just senseless action with little at stake. Sure, I admit Josh Hamilton’s Yankee Stadium display was something otherworldly, but c’mon, that was just one time it was interesting. It’s usually just a bunch of mindless yakking from Chris Berman (another over hyped blah) peppered with the occasional home run and a bevy of unclever insurance ads.
Me? I’ll be watching Le Tour in anticipation of the actual All Star Game (also known as “Better than Christmas” at my house). And yes, I understand the Tour de France (and the entire sport of professional cycling) has a bigger PED problem now than baseball has ever had, thus possibly “tainting” the experience for unseasoned cycling fans, but let me tell you: if any event warrants blood doping, it’d be Le Tour.
I do not advocate it, but I get it. These guys are KILLING themselves, over three weeks, every single day, and if it were up to me, they could inject new blood into their own veins as much as they wanted.
Endurance events get me fired up. That’s one of the reasons why I love baseball so much: it’s a GRIND. Every day. In harsh conditions. Moving forward. But in baseball you rarely see the agony on the players’ faces.
In Le Tour, the agony starts at the gun and doesn’t reach its apex until the finish line is crossed. I can appreciate that, and will, much more than listening to obnoxious Chris Berman catchphrases while guys hammer batting practice fastballs over the wall in Kansas City.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
On this Memorial Day — a day set aside to focus our attention and our appreciation for the service men and women who dutifully protect our nation — I would like to point out a similarly constant source of awesome who has quietly made being a south sider something to brag about. His name is Paul Konerko.
“Paulie” (as he is affectionately called by White Sox fans) has done nothing in Chicago but hit 400 homeruns, drive in 1265 runs, hit .284 and carry an OPS of .865, all while flying way under the national radar of the worldwide leader in schlub and other poignant media corporations. Oh you can bet opposing pitchers know who he is, but his public persona is a bit of a mystery. He’s a quiet, reserved guy. He’s not out gallivanting with actresses and pop stars. He isn’t taking his shirt off and posing for GQ. He doesn’t run his mouth to the press, or at umpires, or… at all.
He’s the lunch pail baseballer. He shows up to work, works hard, then quietly goes about his business. He’s the type of player you want your kid to idolize. He’s the guy all the dads wanna hang out with, who all the ladies want to be close to.
He’s Paul Konerko — south side hero, midwest superstar. The quiet, unsung hero.
I tip my cap.
And to all our nation’s heroes, we here at RSBS dutifully salute and thank you for your service.
Happy Memorial Day!
Stop it. Stop looking at me like that. If you want a Bobby Valentine/Red Sox dramaschlobfest post then go check out the worldwide leader in sports smut.
This is Red State Blue State.
And today we’re talking about THE MAYOR.
That’s right. While Larry Lucchino was busy going behind Red Sox GM Ben Cherington’s back to hire a sexy manager (note: it only took them TWO FRIGGIN MONTHS TO DO THE DAMN THANG), the Cincinnati Reds announced that Sean Casey — The Mayor — would be enshrined in the Reds Hall of Fame.
Hot diggity dang!
Nevermind that Casey got in the Reds Hall of Fame by way of a fan vote. Dude hit .305 lifetime for Cincinnati, not to mention the millions of smiles he instigated, just for being a big goofy loon armed with a sweet, sweeping lefty swing. The Mayor is one of baseball’s good guys — the kind you wish you could trade for the likes of Milton Bradley, Kevin Brown and John Rocker — and it’s about time the good guy got some love, even if it is in Cincinnati, where sports have gone to die (just kidding, Andy Dalton).
If you watch the MLB Network, you know The Mayor’s comedic timing and all-around fun fella persona aren’t just the stuff of clubhouse lore. He really is an unfettered goofball. And his laugh is contagious, especially after 6 beers.
And if this Mayor induction leaves you feeling nothing else, at the very least you should feel good that the guy who brought you the only 5-7-3 ground-out in baseball history (vid here, tentatively, until the MLBAM nazis take it down) will be memorialized along with this guy:
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And despite the acidic aftertaste of all-things ESPN, I do have to admit that Sunday Night Baseball has been refreshingly awesome in 2011. Thank you, Dan. Thank you, Orel. Thank you, Bobby.
Tomorrow night, however, will be an extra special affair: Sunday Night Baseball on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, live from New York’s Citi Field.
And I will be there.
My healthy ears are eager to pair up with my attentive eyes, to take it all in, to remember with humility, to join in the communitas and the powerful emotional connection we all share with this truly remarkable pastime.
It’s gonna be a special night.
I Got My Knives Sharp
The most interesting man in the world… Is it Starlin Castro? Or Bobby Valentine, ranter of rants?
On Sunday night, Bobby V was my hero. He was attacking a sad, sad organization from the rear. From what the Cubs should be doing, to calling out everybody — president-owner-manager-scouting — it was FANTASTIC TELEVISION. He was flat out givin’ em the bizzness down there.
Valentine is probably fishing for a managerial gig, but he couldn’t be more right in his breakdown of Starlin Castro’s lack of awareness at shortstop. Valentine saw this in one inning and I haven’t heard anything like it all damn year. You can check out the video *here*.
Somebody is not teaching him right. Is anyone teaching anything? In the postgame interview Mike Quade said he would call Valentine. For wha??? Earlier in the season he said he had to call his “pitching people”. Sunday he said now he has to call his “infield people”???
Now all eyes on are on Castro. He’s the youngest player to reach 300 hits in 70 years for the Cubs. But he also has the most errors in the National League, most of them careless errors.
So when does he get turned around? Please don’t let him become Hanley Ramirez… fat and lazy. Quade was supposed to be THE guy who could develop the most important piece of this franchise. You cannot blame Castro for any of this madness.
As a Cubs fan, I believe in nothing the organization is doing. It’s bad. It’s a joke. A travesty. Tom Ricketts still doesn’t have a list of possible GMs. He actually said this?!?!?
Look, Tom, keep it in your head, fine. But at least say you have a plan! You gotta give Cubs fans some hope. Act like you have an effing clue, billionaire fan boy, because you can’t ask Daddy for da monnnneyyyyy to bail your @$$ out. He said no, no, no.
Meanwhile, Quade benched Castro Monday but said the kid doesn’t have A.D.D. What a relief!
Ricketts, get a real list of who is gonna turn this thing around. Oh, and by the way, the Cubs left 15 men on base Monday night after Starlin’s benching. Without him, well, welcome to the village of SUCK.
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
*If I’m not tweeting it’s because I’m sexting and showing off Favre style!
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff and Johanna dig into the bowels of the current Major League season and compare
sizes opinions on myriad topics, including but not limited to what makes an ideal fanboy merkin, the Cubbies‘ goat fiasco, Pat Burrell’s unfortunate meeting with a wall and much, much more! … all to make you laughy-hurty-face!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
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Recorded Saturday, June 18, 2011
THAT’S A WHOLE LOT!!!
So after Buster Posey’s devastating injury suffered during a home plate collision with Florida Marlin Scott Cousins Thursday night, I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Olney would come out with some stupidly fandangled approach to squash any potential collision-based injuries.
Ban home plate collisions? What are you talking about, Buster? It was a freak accident. Ban home plate collisions!?!
Why don’t we ban pitching inside too!?!
And we should ban breaking up the double play on a hard slide into second!?!
How about we ban walk-off celebrations and ban beer in the grandstands, JUST FOR FUN!?!
EFF THE WORLD! YOU’RE ON A ROLL, BUSTER!
No one likes to see people get hurt. No one. But guess what: it happens. People get hurt playing baseball all the time. Sometimes they get seriously hurt. It sucks. There’s no denying it.
But that still doesn’t make it okay to go off and make drastic rule changes to the game, just because you and your worldwide leader in smut want blog traffic.
Hate me ‘cuz it ain’t sugarcoated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
PS. Things might be different had you not “broken” that story on Ryan Howard for Pujols a while back. You lost all respect from me — and many other knowledgeable baseball folk, I imagine — after that.