This has the potential to knock Field of Dreams from its perch.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
There are two taxing and equally debilitating activities that I force myself to partake in, every… single… day. I swallow a big@$$ horse-pill that’s supposed to make my cartilage stronger; and I read all of the headlines on The Drudge Report.
If I had time, I would also stick rusty needles under each of my fingernails.
Why do I do these things? I take the horse-pill ‘cuz it comes highly recommended by my doctor, and my doctor is a smart dude (he hates the Cubs, man!).
And I check in with The Drudge Report because it’s important to know what the “other” side is thinking, how they’re scheming, how they’re fear mongering and how they’re faring in other popular GOP pastimes. But mostly I just like to laugh at how Drudge turns a headline like “Wall Street Baffled by Slowing Economy” into “WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A GREAT, GREAT DEPRESSION”.
Indeed, I tip my cap for his savvy, but I wave my finger at his twisted incitations.
And to put things in perspective, I instructed the RSBS interns to take three recent MLB headlines and hand them over to Matt Drudge, just to see what would happen.
Here’s what we got:
– – –
Original Headline:”White Sox enjoy another sweep at Fenway”
Headline on Drudge: “SHOW ME ALEXEI RAMIREZ’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE DAMMIT!!!”
– – –
Original Headline: “Holliday, McClellan both land on Cards’ DL”
Headline on Drudge: “HOLLIDAY NEVER F$&*ING TOUCHED HOME, HE NEVER TOUCHED IT, HE NEVER TOUCHED IT, I CALL DO-OVER!!!”
– – –
Original Headline: “Swisher’s Swat Solidifes Sweep for Yankees”
Headline on Drudge: “OMG JORGE POSADA SUCKS, THE BRONX IS BURNING AND WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”
– – –
Hate me ‘cuz I got the connections to make it happen, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
Opening Day saw some pretty spectacular bullpen meltdowns. But what
does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the
bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Have
pitchers gotten soft?
*Breaks window, jumps from the second story, runs down the street screaming even though forgot pants*
Believe me, Mr. Jake, I am really trying to tackle this one without any bias, without any memory of Opening Day in the ‘Lou, without a mammoth-sized chip on my shoulder. But let’s be honest: in baseball, there isn’t much worse than watching your team dominate throughout a game, only to blow it all in the 9th when the win is on the line.
My Redbirds managed to do that on Opening Day. The Brewers did too (all credit goes to John Axford). The Mets ran into it last night with Jail-Rod’s shenanigans (Also, his unfettered desire to fight people proves that pitchers — at least this one — have not gotten “soft”… unless the pitcher’s name is Kyle Farnsworth). Hell, ask the 2010 Baltimore Orioles… they know all about losing games late considering they blew more games last year than Lil Kim did Bad Boys in the 90s.
But what does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Gee, I’m not sure it’s really come to that. The ’08 Cardinals were pretty awful, as I remember the bullpen yacking up over 25 games late… but, after giving it the old eye test, I’m not sure it’s really fair to say that the state of Major League bullpens is any different than it has been in years past. You either have a good one, a mediocre one, or a bad one.
And even when you have a bad one, that doesn’t necessarily spell gloom and doom for one’s team. 2009 Brad Lidge comes to mind; my pedestrian and oft frightened colleague, Mr. Krause probably could’ve done a better job on the hill than Lidge that season, but the Phillies still managed to grind their way to the World Series.
Unfortunately, these days, the role of a “closer” and “set-up man” and “7th inning guy” has been magnified because of money. The more money involved, the more pressure. The more pressure, the fewer who can actually deal with it.
In fact, for my money, there’s only one closer who is reliable every single day and that man’s name is Mariano Rivera. I think the Yankees could realistically state that their season might rely on Mo’s cutters; but then again, their set-up man saved 40+ last year. And, oh yeah, their all-star lineup doesn’t hurt either.
But for the other 29 teams, yeah, it could be a problem. But when your team is in flux — featuring an unsigned future Hall of Famer, a sidelined perennial Cy Young contender, and an All-Star outfielder absent because of an appendectomy — then you got more problems than you can actually stomach right now. The bullpen is just one of many.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
– – –
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Uh oh. Don’t look now, Evil Empire, but the Yankees probably aren’t going to be successful in Plan B now that the shirt untucking Brewers have jumped in and made a deal for Zack Greinke. And since the only other arm out there not attached to a ticking time bomb (*ahem* Carlos Zambrano) is Carl Pavano, well, that leaves the Yankees… er… in quite an uncomfortable situation.
Ready to entertain creative alternatives to mend their starting rotation holes, Cashman and company have taken to the teeny bopper concert scene. Indeed, a young arm stuck in the sea of puberty is just ready to make his (or her) debut:
More accurate than Joba. And probably a lot less annoying.
I say go for it.
Hate. Me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I found the picture to the right on a Google image search, hoping to find something that could illustrate just how arousing the above arrangement actually is.
If there were a hell, I’d be the president of it.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
No reader of this blog wonders about my feelings towards the Yankees. My opinions have been as unequivocally clear as they are opaque when it comes to my politics. But even I can still be surprised by the depths to which the Evil Empire will sink.
Now, admittedly I take this a little more personally because, despite my distaste for his team, Derek Jeter hails from the same part of southwest Michigan where I grew up. I won’t say I like the guy but I respect him as a baseball player and I respect anyone who can escape from that particular corner of hell. To go from the cornfields of Kalamazoo to dating Esquire’s sexiest woman alive, well, that means something.
In general, I support baseball’s modernization. Free agency, although
it means players move around a bit, hasn’t killed the game. But if this Steinbrenner ploy leads to Jeter
wearing something other than pinstripes? Even I think that’s wrong. However, if
it were to drive a wedge between him and Minka and somehow send her my
way, I guess I could get behind that.
Wow. Baseball is really over. I’m feeling a little lost here. Should I
turn to football, alcohol or the annual Victoria’s Secret holiday
special for comfort?
For serious though, anyone who knows me knows to be very, very cautious this time of year… for the sudden drop of the best baseball teams on the planet playing for a title to absolutely no baseball games at all can be beyond devastating.
I ain’t gonna tell on myself, but if you refer to the sheer number of world catastrophes that have taken place during the month of November over the last several years, you’ll understand exactly what I’m trying to say.
So. How do we cope?
Football helps. But not if you’re a Bears fan. So, yeah. I’m screwed there.
Hockey helps. No. That’s a lie. Hockey doesn’t help. At all.
My pal Johanna (from the RSBS podcasts) is trying to get me into the NBA… he’s been quizzing me on my basketball knowledge. My only problem is that the last time I paid any attention to the NBA, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal were in their primes (and half their current sizes!) so I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Apparently Dwight Howard and Juwan Howard are not the same person.
And beer. Yes. Beer will help. A lot. Especially if you mix beer and vodka and gin with Johnnie Walker… and a few bottles of Ambien. After that cocktail you won’t even remember to watch the Victoria Secret Holiday Special, let alone care about it.
And if everything goes according to the above plan, you can eliminate most of the doldrums tha traditionally take place between Thanksgiving and President’s Day. By then, Cliff Lee will be in pinstripes, Jayson Werth will be in pinstripes, and Carl Crawford will be in pinstripes!!!
So join me, Ben… join me, dear readers galore… and let us ride off into that fabled sunset known as off-season delirium. It won’t hurt. I promise.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As is tradition here at RSBS, The Filibuster will now go on hiatus until pitchers and catchers report in the spring, leaving more room for the avant-garde ridiculousness you’ve come to expect from us over the years. Of course, come February we’ll announce its return; in the meantime, we would like to heartily thank all the strangers, friends, relatives, morons, geniuses and fellow bloggers who have sent in Filibuster questions during the 2010 season. Without y’all, it’d just be Al and I talkin’ to ourselves (BORING!)… so thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!