January is a difficult month for me. Gone are the holidays that distracted me from my baseball-less existence. The cold and dark days serve only as a reminder that the 162 game grind is still far away. And key free agents still don’t have a home!
I enjoy football. I really do. Nothing gets me through the winter quite like watching grown men beat the hell out of each other over an oblong pigskin. But three of the four playoff games this past weekend were over before the fourth quarter even started!
And yes, Derek Rose and the Chicago Bulls certainly know how to take me HIGH-UH; but on Saturday night — when I really needed them to get me through the weekend — the game was over before the second half.
THERE IS NO CLOCK IN BASEBALL.
And where there is no clock, there is only the potential for glory. In baseball, there is no garbage time.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
On a team full of young guns, sometimes you wonder which one packs the most punch. David Price can mow ’em down and the rest of the Rays have been deadly efficient while playing in the toughest division in baseball. But if you have to pick one guy who completely embodies the firepower the Rays have shown, you’d have to go with Evan Longoria…..and his AK-47.
Ok, it’s actually no longer “his” AK-47 after its recent theft but still, there’s no denying that Longoria is packing. And lest the conspiracy theorists start ascribing nefarious meanings in hushed whispers, Longoria legally owned the weapon by all accounts. I guess the bigger question here is, why do Longoria and other sports stars feel the need to own weapons like this?
I get owning a hunting rifle. I own a hunting rifle. Growing up in Michigan, there’s a good reason for gun ownership, especially with the deer overpopulation problem. There’s a big difference, though, between owning a hunting rifle and purchasing a deer permit in Michigan than owning (and carrying) a handgun in New York or DC or keeping an assault rifle in your spring training house in Florida. I’m guessing it wasn’t there because he was planning on single-handedly eliminating the Florida python problem.
I’m not judging Longoria here. It’s quite possible he has a legitimate reason for owning an AK-47. I’m sure that the stress of playing up to a multi-million dollar contract wears on you and sometimes you just got to get your gun on to release a little bit of that tension. However, I am questioning his judgement. You’re in Florida. I’m sure there are half a dozen places within a short drive where you could go rent a gun, purchase some rounds and fire to your heart’s content. For instance, this place also offers air conditioning, a big plus in the Florida humidity, and I found it on the first page of my Google search.
Mr. Longoria, you’re a great baseball player with a wonderful future ahead of you. It would be nice to talk about that future instead of the theft of your assault rifle. So maybe let’s focus a little more on gunning down base runners than mowing down, uh, whatever it is you plan on mowing down with an AK-47. Ok?
Just how Captain Morgan is able to be in both my liquor cabinet and the Oakland Coliseum at the same time is beyond me. But he is. Or… was. In fact, last week he was seen comparing hooks with Mr. Perfect himself, Dallas Braden, while bringing the party with him in the way of one blonde, one redhead and one enviable, swashbuckling goatee.
That’s right. Just when you thought captainism in US America was dead, here comes Captain Morgan throwing out the first pitch at a ballpark near you. While captains may run rampant in the NHL, the NFL and MLS, Major League Baseball suffers from a supreme shortage.
Derek Jeter. Jason Varitek. Paul Konerko.
Those are your only true, official captains.
Varitek? That’s a joke, right?
Paulie? Deserved, but under appreciated and way under publicized. In fact, I didn’t even know he was the Sox captain until yesterday… and I live next to the ball park!
Look, I’m a purist. You know this. Axe the replay, axe the jumbotron, axe the synthetic unis… I’m cool with all of that. But in lieu of the Nyjer Morgans and Milton Bradleys of the world, I think MLB would do a lot of good to inject more leadership into its ranks, spice it up with a “C” patch, subject the younger players to some authority.
Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer… they already look and act like captains. Can’t we just make it official?
Either that, or at least make it mandatory for that blonde and that redhead to make an appearance every ballpark in the league. (No need for the goatee. I have one of those already.)
Oh… and I’ll be waiting at Sox Park.
So go ahead and hate me… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Images via Getty Images)
Besides, sitting in front of that television watching baseball games and drinking beer all day could be a lot more fun if you just… live a little. And by live, of course I mean entertaining the idea that some Republicans might actually have some good ideas.
No, that’s a lie. I’m talking about gambling. And you know it.
So if you’re gonna gamble, why not gamble on a sure thing… ya know, so it’s not so much like gambling. And just in case you worried you might have to do some work to find a sure thing, relax. RSBS and the trusted interns have already done all the work. So here ’tis, folks, three DEFINITE winners.
Add to your bankroll wisely…
Sure Thing Number 1: Albert Pujols
Uh… hello? If you haven’t been convinced of Albert’s transcending greatness yet, then you are either a) dead b) communist or c) dead. And for all you dead commies, know that Prince Albert went 4-5 with two dingers on Opening Day 2010. Eat it!
Sure Thing Number 2: Paul Lebowitz’s 2010 Baseball Guide
From one prince to another, let it be known that the most ruthless, best writer you’ve never heard of is back, this time with the 2010 edition of his annual baseball guide. You can purchase it *here* on Amazon, or find it through his blogspot site or paullebowitz.com. Dude, if reading The Prince of New York isn’t already a part of your daily routine, then what the hell are you waiting for? The man knows what he’s talking about and this guide will help you with your fantasy teams and your exotic parlays! Oh, and you’ll also gain an in-depth understanding of every aspect of all thirty clubs. Of course, if you don’t check it out there’s always the chance that I might have to break your legs… so… just sayin’…
Sure Thing Number 3: Evan Longoria’s Bad@$$ New Era Commercial
Yep. If you haven’t seen it yet, get ready, ‘cuz this commercial is a man-gasmic (I made that word up so pay me if you use it) trip down to Awesomeville (I made that one up too). Look, I love the Andrew Bailey, Nelson Cruz, Justin Verlander commercials… and Mauer is good and all… but jeesh, watching Longoria play this adventurous hero who takes his headwear seriously causes me virtual fits in a world where I am loyal to Albert and Albert only. Good thing it’s all make-believe, or I might be heading to Albert-Rams-A-Louisville-Slugger-Up-My-Toosh-Opolis (I officially made that up too, but you can blame my sickish and oft pedantic colleague, Mr. Krause, for its idiocy).
So, what are ya waiting for?
Show me the money!
And don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.
In an effort to continue our outreach to the gay sporting community, I’d first of all like to thank Mr. Meyer for his recent letter to the editors of RSBS. I can also say that having known Mr. Lung for several years now, I’m sure he did not intend any offense with his recent entry. Well, except to Cubs fans and that’s understandable. And I’d also like to say that from my point of view the thought of Ozzie Guillen kissing anyone is pretty awful. He’s just not an attractive
guy. It’s kind of like Camryn Manheim making out with someone. You respect their work but who they kiss and how it happens just shouldn’t be part of the public domain. Come to think of it, if I were to extrapolate a little on the original post, I really wouldn’t want to see Jim Edmonds making out with anyone either. And it doesn’t matter if he’s wearing a Cardinal red or Cub blue. Jon Garland, though…..well, that could be interesting. And if it involved Eva Longoria (or even Evan Longoria, for that matter)…….Anyway, I’m just thinking out loud here and it’s time to move on.
As Allen’s moral quandary comes to a close, I am left in a somewhat reflective mood. His terse analysis of the character of Chicagoans was not only a fierce example of absolutism, but it was also a plain indicator of why he is so bitter and jaded towards life in general. Having grown up in a small no-name Michigan town, then spending several soul-searching years in France, Chicago, Cameroon and New York City, it is no wonder why he knows not the real nature of his being — except that it exists, even if just barely. The Truth is, Allen Krause lives a pretty good life (obviously, otherwise he’d post more often) and yet he chooses to complain about it. In reality, Allen’s life could be much worse.
He could be me for example.
Indeed, my life has been tough this week. My city was flooded by the gangs of New York, Hillary left Pennsylvania as victor, the Cubs have been on a tear, the Cardinals pitching staff has been showing weakness, the Sox haven’t been able to outslug the Evil Empire and the Reds hired Walt Jocketty, whom I once wanted to honor by naming my first born (boy or girl) after him. Oh, and I should probably also mention that I haven’t been on a date since September.
Sure, it would be real easy for me to slip into the cesspool of sympathy-seeking sadness while feeling sorry for myself. It would be real easy for me to put my teeth on a curb and ask an innocent bystander to stomp on the back of my skull. But no. No! I am a U.S. American. And one of the fundamental principles of our country — what makes this nation stand out among the rest — is our individual freedom of choice. Yes, that’s right, folks. I have a choice: hate life or live life. And who better to sum up American idealism than English gentleman and poet George Eliot (1819 – 1880) who said:
“The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.”
I choose to choose. I choose to grow. I choose to make Mike’s Hard Lemonade out of the tree of lemons in my front yard. I choose to analyze, scrutinize and ultimately pursue the right path. But beware… many a moral quandary and philosophical pitfall await the anxious do-gooder. And bad things happen to those who screw up (just ask the gatekeeper at Wrigley who wouldn’t let the goat in to see the game).
Mirror my example and take heed, for these choices were not easy to make:
Erin Andrews and ESPN or Kerry Sayers and Comcast Sportsnet:
Hmm. Watch the world-class ESPN broadcast featuring the hottest woman in baseball or Hawk and DJ rehash the ‘glory days’ on CSN with mojo buzzkiller Kerry Sayers. These are the choices I thought I would have when preparing to watch Wendesday night’s broadcast of the Yankees versus the White Sox. The Baseball Tonight teaser featuring Erin licking her lips and winking at me through the tube made it an easy choice; but DirectTV took the choice out of my hands and blacked out the ESPN broadcast. I wrote my congressman and he assured me he would do absolutely nothing about it. At least I wrote my congressman.
Write an Exposé on the Greatness that is Evan Longoria or the Greatness that is Eva Longoria:
I know, I know, seems like a tired joke already. It’s not. This, like farts, will always be funny. Longoria is a great future star who will be a staple of all my fantasy teams. Respectively, Longoria is a great star who will be a future staple of all my fantasies. Longoria is not just great, Longoria is perfect and Longoria is awesome and Longoria is the epicenter of my earthquake, the eye of my storm, the cow in my tornado.
Ah, Longoria. Longoria Longoria Longoria. Longoria Longing Longoria Longoria Long Longoria Lung… Eva Longoria-Lung.
Mrs. Eva Longoria-Lung.
Lead a Life of Fame or Lead a Life of Obscurity:
Now that the press has relaxed its death grip on my every move in favor of reporting on a much more successful, more “professional” MLBlog from a more attractive, more “informed” writer (Alyssa Milano) I have resorted back to the mundane existence I once lived. Oh sure, the paparazzi on the 62/Archer bus can still be a pain and yes, I can’t get into US Cellular Field without signing an autograph or three, but when we come right down to it: I am of the People. Though my success has avalanched in recent weeks, I must keep a humble heart and leave such pompous and pedantic acts to my colleague/opponent, Mr. Allen Krause. For I know what victory tastes like and my reservations will ultimately prove me to be the bigger man.
I choose to sit on the couch, watch some ball and feel damn good about it.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Earlier this week, MLB was making a big deal out of David Wright being just a homerun shy of hitting for the cycle. Was this just a marketing ploy to get more people to watch the game or is hitting for the cycle really that big of a deal? In other words, is it really an achievement of great baseball prowess or is it just a silly coincidence that happens to be somewhat interesting? Keep in mind that guys like César Tovar, Vic Wertz and Randy Hundley (hardly household names) have hit for the cycle, yet no one seems to care.
Interesting question, Mr. Lung. And I must say, I’m of two minds on this. First of all, if a guy is able to pick up 4 hits in a nine inning game, that’s pretty good. And if three of the four are four extra bases, that’s even better. I only wish the Tigers could start doing that on a regular basis. And I’m talking as a team here, not just any individual player.
However, I have to say, and I’m sure you agree with me here, that hitting for the cycle is in and of itself nothing more than a fluke. Why should we care more about a guy who gets a single, double, triple and homerun in one game than we should about a guy who hits four homers in a game? The simple answer is that we shouldn’t.
Now, I understand that as the salaries of ballplayers continue to rise and as parks are charging more and more outrageous prices, MLB wants to get it’s cut and that means getting more people interested. Sometimes that means hyping something that really isn’t that big of a deal. And why not pick something that has a somewhat esoteric name like, “The Cycle?” I respect that.
But any true baseball fan can see through the hype and pick out what’s behind MLB’s ploy. It’s money, pure and simple. And this brings me to something even more important than Reyes and Wright and their ball-thumping theatrics.
This past week we saw Evan Longoria, the Rays
soon-to-be-star third baseman, sign a long term contract for less than he
probably could have gotten if he waited for free agency. And he also waived his
arbitration rights. Now, I know that some members of the player’s union are up
in arms over this move but I like it. I think baseball players deserve what
they get paid (although this is a topic for another time) but I also think that
the situation needs to be pulled back into shape. The line between team loyalty
and getting what you deserve has been distorted in the last few seasons and
something had to be done in order to bring it back into somewhat of a stasis.
Longoria’s contract, although it’s just a small part of the trend, could help
with this correction. And to be completely honest with you, I think that when
the average fan sees a ballplayer acting like an average guy instead of a prima
donna, that’s going to be the best marketing MLB could have asked for.