My friend Mr. Lung, while an excellent writer and a true baseball devotee, has the misfortune of often face-planting when his thoughts turn towards the political arena. Here’s an accurate representation of Jeff’s political discourse:
I say this because although Mr. Lung may have made one or two valid points in his original “coming-out as a Libertarian” post, his argument this past Friday mainly left me feeling embarrassed for him. I don’t have time to go back and correct all of his logical and factual fallacies one by one but there is one point that bears discussion.
Let’s take these two statements:
Tell that to the folks paying $4.25 for a gallon of gas, the people who can barely afford groceries, who are meanwhile raped for 20% of their income in taxes to fund programs they’ll never benefit from.
They hate us because of our longstanding foreign policy which is to invade, overthrow and then set up puppet governments and act as dictators to protect our interests in oil.
You don’t get it both ways, my friend. Despite what your new friends on the fringe of either party may tell you, avoiding foreign entanglements by drilling at home or investing in alternative fuels is not going to change the price you pay at the pump. Sure, over the course of a generation or two you can make those changes but in the short to medium term, your choice comes down to either securing fuel supplies in whatever clusterf**k part of the world they happen to come from or paying $6-8 a gallon like our friends in Europe.
I’m going to simplify all of this for you. Government is a social contract in which the governed (including you and I) agree to give up a portion of their individual sovereignty for the good of the whole. There are different levels to which this premise can be taken from the socialism of the Nordic states to the relative autonomy of the European Union. Both extremes have their problems and both have their benefits.
In the US, we have eschewed the extremes and held to a longstanding tradition of slowly moving from one side of the equation to the other as necessary but never moving too far from the center. From FDR’s New Deal to Reagan’s supply-side economics, programs come and go as they are needed. It’s often painful, it’s occasionally embarrassing and it doesn’t always work. But you know what? If you don’t like it you can go out and vote for someone who promises change or even run for office yourself.
Many Americans prefer to lament the “broken” system, though, and sign up for whatever -ism fits their current worldview. It’s simple, it’s available and it allows them to refrain from accepting any personal responsibility. So tell me, my friend, how are you any different?
Albert Pujols has played just nine Major League seasons and in each and every one of them he’s hit over 30 homeruns, collected more than 100 RBI and batted over .300. Those aren’t just good numbers, folks. Those are astronomical numbers.
And this is his best year yet.
I think it’s time we stop referring to Albert Pujols as the future Hall of Famer that he is — because let’s face it, if the man’s career ends today he’ll be a first ballot lock* — and start acknowledging that he is indeed one of the greatest players to ever play the game, all-time, in the history of the game.
In our present game, today, right this second, we are witnessing a rare and genuine paragon of baseball supremacy.
Stop — and — think — about — that.
My Dad saw Gibson.
My Grandpa saw Musial.
And Albert will trump them both.
By a long shot.
I know it’s hard to understand while it’s happening. I realize that, in most cases, we do not realize what great feats we are witnessing firsthand until it’s too late, until our heroes are lifted in the 7th for defensive replacements, until they’re embarking on sappy, over-produced farewell tours.
But right now we all have the opportunity to savor the greatness, to take it all in, to let it move us.
Great presidents abound in Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington; but there is only one Abraham Lincoln.
Sure, Metallica is great and all but there’s only one Pink Floyd.
And yes. There is only one Albert Pujols.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
*As one reader pointed out, a player needs 10 years in the Majors before being eligible; consider my phrase a simple bout of hyperbole
In his last post, my oft misguided and ever self-loathing colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, offered up some morbid thoughts on how to pass the next several weeks while we wait to thaw out and spring into some serious baseball action. Poignantly defeatist in nature, Mr. Krause squashed our spirits more than he uplifted them, as more lamenting on the sad state of Detroit sports franchises and focusing on the natural discourse between Iran and the rest of the world leaves little else than a tinge of bitterness.
Dear readers, there are many more things you can do with your time. For instance…
Postulate How Many More Superbowls the Steelers Will Win Before the Pirates Get Back to the Post-Season (If They Ever Do)
Already the winningest franchise in NFL history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have long drowned out the cheers (if any) from the Pirates faithful. But don’t worry, ‘Burgh, the 2009 Pirates boast a lineup that features the likes of Jose Tabata, Brian Bixler and Nyjer Morgan! Whoo-wee! Get out the ticker-tape, ya’ll! I’m feeling a bit like 1991!
Count the Reasons Why Ann Coulter Has No Soul
Verily, this woman is as crazy as A-Rod is attention hungry. In her most recent blog post (dated 1/28/2009), she had this brilliant quip to share:
“The only reason McCarthy was elected to Congress in the first place is
that her husband and son were shot by a crazed gunman on the Long
Island Rail Road in 1993. Colin Ferguson’s shooting spree wasn’t
stopped sooner because none of the passengers had guns. As has been
demonstrated beyond dispute at this point, armed citizens save lives.”
There is no way these words came from a live human being complete with a heartbeat and the ability to actually feel. No way.
Waste Your Life Away by Playing the Harold Reynolds Drinking Game
(I don’t personally recommend this, but if you’re looking for a quick, painless way to hibernate until Opening Day, click **here** for details. And when I say “painless” I’m lying.)
Try To Nail Down How Many Games the Cardinals Will Finish Behind the Cubs in 2009
Let’s see, there’s Adam Kennedy, Trever Miller, a busted up bullpen virtually unchanged from last season, question marks at third base, second base, starting rotation, no one to protect Albert Pujols, the reality that LaRussa and Duncan will most likely be gone next year, and we still have Bill Dewitt and John Mozeliak at the helm! Folks, that’s just the beginning… I won’t go in to how good the Cubs look, how fresh and exciting the Reds look, how explosive the Brewers look, how nagging the Astros look. Ooh boy, can’t wait to battle Tabata, Bixler and Morgan in the ‘Burgh for the NL Central Toilet Bowl!
Okay, so I admit, my suggestions are just as morbid and defeatist as Allen’s… but if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that a laugh — a good, hearty, gut-cleansing laugh — can last us a while… or in this case, a long, long while:
Now that is what I call comedy!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.