Tagged: Fans

The Filibuster

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?

Sal
Fresno, CA
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Absolutism is relative.  I think.  No, I am sure it is.  Maybe.  I mean, this is the GREATEST BASEBALL-POLITICO BLOG OF ALL TIME, IS IT NOT!?!?!

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.

Peace,

Jeff

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Bizarro Baseball

Bizarro baseball.  You know what it looks like.  No, not that bizarro baseballNor this one, though I do like the idea of a batless batsman.  The bizarro baseball I’m talkin’ about is the kind I was forced to watch Tuesday through Thursday of this week.

My DirectTV Extra Innings and MLB.TV packages both blackout my home team St. Louis Cardinals’ television broadcast streams when they are playing in my home market (I happen to live on the south side of Chicago).  And while I have become quite used to watching the Cubs’ broadcasts whenever they play the Cardinals, for the first time since I moved to the Chi, I had to endure the cliched, logorrheic tomfoolery of one Hawk Harrelson whilst watching my favorite ballclub play.

Of course, as a longtime neighborhood White Sox supporter, I have withstood many a Hawk-infested baseball game; so this was nothing new to me.  But in the past I’ve always been able to leave the game knowing “whew, at least that guy isn’t callin’ my teams’ games!”

Plus, his shenanigans don’t seem quite as cute when YOUR team is the “bad guys”.

But that’s why we have the mute button.  And M.O.P.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Do or Do Not, There Is No “Try”

Oh, look, Starlin Castro went and did something stupid.  Surprise, surprise.

And, oh, look, Dale Sveum and the Cubbies brass talk the talk, but eschew the walk while doing something quite similar to twiddling their collective thumbs — thumbs that tend to be stuck in proverbially unpleasant places.

Hmm.  Haven’t we been here before with Castro?  Yes.

Hmm.  Haven’t we heard the same old “we gotta change the Cubs culture” mantra before?  Yes.

Hmm.  Haven’t we been bombarded with mythical imagery supposedly brought in on the wings of a SABR nerd?  Yes.

And yet here we are, witnessing the same old Chicago Cubs.

LOSERS.

I believe Albert Einstein was the one who said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”  Einstein was a pretty smart fella.  Maybe it’s time the Cubs took notice of that notable quip of truth.

Instead of threatening to bench a spoiled star with as much talent as he has cluelessness, why not just bench him?  Why not teach him a lesson?  Why not teach the entire team — a team that is continuously caught with its inflated head in the clouds — and show them that there are no more third, fourth, fifth chances?

I’m a Cardinals fan.  To the death.  Part of being a Redbird fanatic is jousting with our arch rivals; but our rivals to the north are so bad that it just isn’t fun anymore.  I long for the days when our regular season match-ups actually mean something.

Unfortunately, as long as the Cubs continue to simply “try” to get better mentally, with little effort, rather than actually DOING anything about it, I’m afraid we’ll just have to rehash that same old “Brogglio for Brock” snafu.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m deliberate, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Boring and Tame, Just Not the Same

Change and I don’t get along too well.  I remember when the Cardinals introduced the Sunday home game alternate cap — the navy blue one with the red bill and the profiled bird.  I couldn’t sleep for weeks.

WHY?!?!  WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS!?!?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REGULAR CAP!?!?!

Things are better now; but living in Chicago, I became quite used to the kind of daily drama inherent in a city where Ozzie Guillen is employed.  Now, with him gone, life is just… boring?  I mean, Adam Dunn is hitting.  Jake Peavy is pitching.  The Cell hasn’t caught on fire.

What fun is that?

I miss the good old days — the days when the city stopped for the Crosstown Rivalry, the Windy City Classic.  I miss seeing Sweet Lou bump bellies with umpires, AJ Pierzynski gettin’ cold cocked by Michael Barrett, listening to drunk frat boys explain the infield fly rule to washed out bimbos while double-fisting $7 Old Styles.

Is nothing sacred anymore?!?!

Until I see Dale Sveum and Robin Ventura do a rap song about bad contracts, I’m gonna have to think not.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Rules: Good Television Edition

If Kim Kardashian’s well-traveled yet consistently hypnotizing room-shaker just doesn’t calm that nasty case of televisionitis anymore, do not fear.

This is the 21st century.  And armed with both an MLB.TV subscription AND an MLB Extra Innings package on Direct TV, you never have an excuse to sully your brain again (unless Las Vegas is involved).

There are three basic rules.

Number One:

Watch Tony Campana.  That’s right.  I can’t help but tune into this wily sCrUB.  He’s great television!  Seriously, the dude looks like he should be delivering my newspaper every morning on a magenta, one-speed Huffy, not working a walk so he get on base to haunt opposing pitchers.  Perhaps it’s because my imagined baseball skill-set is similar to that of Campana’s that I often find myself glued to his base-running.  Or maybe it’ s just because the guy is a buzzing gnat in a game full of free-swinging giants.

Number Two:

WATCH the American League East.  Doesn’t matter the team.  Yankees.  Drama.  Red Sox.  Drama.  Orioles?  DRAMA!  Blue Jays?  MORE DRAMA!  Rays… oh the Rays… they are the KINGS of DRAMA.  On any given night no one knows what the hell is gonna happen in this division.  It’s a baseball fanatic’s wet — okay.  Sorry, chuggin’ the verklempt there.

Number Three:

Bryce.  Friggin’.  Harper.

Watch this dude.  Seriously.

I gotta tip my cap to Mike Rizzo and the Nats.  Both of their high profile picks have delivered early in their careers, not with just talent, but with poise and brass balls.  Watch Bryce Harper play a baseball game and tell me he doesn’t love it more than anything else on the planet, that he doesn’t live his every waking second for the opportunity to play the game we love so much to the best of his ability, AT ALL TIMES.

Isn’t that a great example of how life should be lived by us all?

Stay tuned to Bryce Harper.  That kid is fantastic television.

And go ahead, hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Stop It, Chicago Cubs, Just Stop It

*Dear readers, pardon me while I step away from being an unbiased observer and put on my wrathful fanboy hat*

Stop it, Chicago Cubs.  Just stop it.

You are a 6-win team thus far, and while yes, your last two wins (unfortunately, against my World Champion St. Louis Cardinals) were full of drama, let us not forget: you suck.

But you wouldn’t know that watching your celebrations the last two nights.  Unbridled bedlam.  Unwarranted one-upsmanship.  Beating your chests then dogpiling like you won the goddamned World Series?

Please.  You were the beneficiary of TWO blown calls.  Also, you are a terrible team.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate a walk-off victory, because it is only natural to do so.  But there is celebration and then there is what you’ve done two days in a row: act like blithering fools.

Consider a touch of class, or at least a nod to the baseball gods umpires who handed you a victory on Tuesday night.

Hate me ‘cuz I speak it straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

It looks like Albert is off to a rough start in LA.  Have you caught yourself checking in on him yet?

Ian
Paris, TX
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If by “checking in on him” you mean stalking his Facebook page, dialing his phone number then hanging up real quick and annoyingly asking our mutual friends if he’s really happy with his new lover, then no.  I haven’t done any of that.

But I have watched an unhealthy amount of Angels games early this season (BECAUSE I CAN’T HELP MYSELF) and I have to admit: even watching Albert struggle early on is no consolation for his loss.  There is no consolation.  Period.  None.  So it does me no good to dwell on it anymore.

IT’S OVER.  FOREVER.

And that’s okay.

It is no secret that Albert’s decision to leave the St. Louis Cardinals left me DEVASTATED.  I was in deep mourning for most of January.  As February rolled along, I found myself dealing with the five stages of grief more intimately than I ever wanted. But by the end of March, I’d finally reached the road of acceptance.  I had no power to change anything anyway, so I could choose to be miserable or I could choose to move on.

I chose to move on.

Albert Pujols provided me with some of the greatest memories of my entire life.  It is my decision to hold those memories dear, to never let go, but to also accept the change that is reality and be one with it.  Harboring any ill will towards the man who brought me such joy has zero benefits.  Just like I wish myriad ex-girlfriends the best in their individual lives post-Jeff, I also wish Albert the best.  That being said, when he strikes out or grounds into a double-play, I become human at times and secretly engage in a bit of childish taunting.  But this is not done with a hateful or angry tone.  I am mindful of it. I acknowledge its silliness. I immediately let it go.

AP may not be off to a torrid start when it comes to power numbers, but the homers and RBIs are going to come.  And when they do, I’ll tip my cap just as I would anyone else: while hollerin’ “GO CARDINALS!!!”

Hate me.  I’m cool with it.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff