If the 13+ year friendship with my gloomy and oft perfunctory colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has taught me anything, it has taught me that the pipe dreaming, star chasing default drive of my youth would be better served with a hard, double dose of good old fashioned realism.
Because despite my enthusiasm, the reality of the situation is this:
Erin Andrews isn’t going to sit on my lap. Lucy Liu isn’t going to give me a full body massage (with a whip). And Albert Pujols might not be a Cardinal forever.
I hate it.
I hate all of it.
I want what I want ‘cuz I’m human and needy and, from time to time, self-serving. I don’t want to be that way, but sometimes I just can’t help it.
The hard truth right now is that negotiations between the St. Louis front office and Albert Pujols’ representatives aren’t going too well. Or, to be more accurate, they’re not going… at all.
And in times of realistic despair it’s best to take a step back and assess the situation:
What can I, Jeff, the Cardinals fan, do about any of this?
Nothing. I can do absolutely nothing. Sure, I can wait anxiously and dream and hope and yearn… but in the end, I can really do nothing that will have any affect on the outcome.
I can only control myself. No one else. That’s it.
And the most successful, most respected people I have come to know in this life all seem to have a pretty good grasp of that idea — that the only thing you can control is you yourself.
I know this: I was a Cardinal fan before Albert Pujols. And I’ll sure as hell be a Cardinal fan after Albert Pujols, whether his number is retired on the Busch Stadium wall or hanging high at Wrigley Field on a background of Cubbie blue pinstripes.*
So with that admittedly uncalled for bit of uberpessimism, I implore you, fellow Redbird crazies, join me… take a deep breath… and picture a hole at first base. Pretend the baseball gods are drunken a$$h0les and Chris Duncan somehow made it back to the ‘Lou… his Lurchian frame is manning first base. Every. DAY. Yeah. It’s true. Picture it… see it… cry about it for a while (I will)… but know that it won’t be the end of the world… we are the St. Louis Friggin’ Cardinals and our birds-on-the-bat laundry is worth more to me, to you, to the entire city of St. Louis, then one single person. That interlocking “S.T.L.” incorporates a lifetime of emotions. It has always been there for me. Like a good parent, or a best friend, it has never let me down, because it always shows up and it always gives its best.
And if the greatest player I’ve ever laid eyes on can’t be a part of that anymore… then, so be it.
Like any tough breakup, it will hurt like holy hell. And I mean really, really hurt. But… life will go on, time will numb the pain, and something better might even come along.
Otherwise I’m gonna look like a real dick.
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Yes, I vomited. Many, many times after writing that sentence.
Oh my, oh my, oh my. Who coulda thunk it? Who would’ve thought the Yankees’ public image would be so tainted after just one offseason of not signing Cliff Lee, not signing Carl Crawford, not (yet) signing Andy Pettitte and not listening to their GM who was supposedly off courting — *GASP* — Carl Pavano of all people!!!???
Okay. Well, the Yankees have had a bad winter. So what? They’re the Yankees. They’re still among the best; and I’m positive, they will survive.
But just in case they need to run some interference on all the current bad press, I suggest they employ the services of one magnificent Ron Daahl.
Who is Ron Daahl you ask?
Why don’t ya see for yourself:
*Special thanks to the Charles Grodin crew! If you’re ever in the Chi, go see their shows! They will make you pee your pants they’re so funny!
Nothin’. Nada. ZE-RO.
Which is why waiting is so hard. Sure, we all knew the day would come when Albert Pujols would reach free agency and have the opportunity to test the free agent market — a market that would surely reward him with a plus $30 million a year contract. But we’ve also known that his underlying, true desire is to remain a Redbird. For life. To work it out.
I can’t take it, dear readers! It’s too disturbing an unknown to just let it be and hope for the best, especially now that a timely gauntlet the size of Barry Bonds’ forehead has been thrown down. To be honest, until a deal has been struck and Albert’s mug is securely tied to the birds on the bat forever and ever, I probably won’t get much non-beer-aided sleep.
My feelings that Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak would not have offered Matt Holliday the sort of contract he received unless they had a plan for re-signing Pujols longterm remain intact. No front office would be so stupid as to waste Albert’s money on a guy who dropped the 2009 NLDS ball. I think.
Excuse me. Sorry. Won’t happen again (today).
Of course, I’m no dummy. And I do realize that signing Albert to the kind of multi-year contract his ability commands would probably bankrupt the team’s flexibility to build a solid supporting cast around him in the future… but I, like many naive Cardinal maniacs out there, still cling to the idea that Albert would be hip to such a situation and be an active part in deferring funds so that a full team could be assembled, to win.
‘Cuz after all, that’s what Albert really wants.
He wants to win.
And so do I.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to concentrate on that desire until this contract situation is over.
You have 27 days, boys. 27 days.
Get ‘er done.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Give up yet?
Let’s see, there’s Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Avery and…
You betchya! Move over, Petey, ‘cuz Joe Blanton is about to take his seat on the ultimate bench of irrelevancy!!!
Indeed, as the shock from Ruben Amaro’s impressively aggressive move to recapture the services of Cliff Lee finally wears off, we are all bound to feel the wrath of that stellar Phillies rotation — a rotation that will make National League stomachs churn as violently as a half digested Taco Bell 7-layer burrito after an all-night college kegger where you went home with a chick named Mo.
And then there’s Joe Blanton.
Of course, this is assuming Blanton will even be a Philly once the 2011 season starts. If I were Ruben, I would do everything in my power to unload that salary, then it’d just be a matter of putting a body out on the mound every five days. If said body is able to pitch, that’s a plus. But really, four days out of five, the Phils are gonna be the hardest friggin’ team ON THE PLANET to beat.
Are you paying attention to all this Mr. Mozeliak?
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
My morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain.
Indeed, running begets pain. But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship. This I know.
Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy. Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.
But I digress.
Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0! No, seriously, I really am happy for you. I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all. Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle. Um… okay. The bad news is: you got screwed. The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years. By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal. Maybe you’ll even smile. Maybe.
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya. A war in Afghanistan. A war in Iraq. The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general. The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again. We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare. We’ve no jobs. Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die. Yeah. That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion. Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?
The Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz. Wow. Just… wow. Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble. In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
My advice? Go Steelers!
Hate me ‘cuz I bring da pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
The hot stove is so hot that we had to add more fuel to the sizzlin’ fire! Jeff, Allen and Johanna are joined by Second City’s Mark Piebenga and Red Sox loyalist Troy Jagodowski to get down and dirty on all the offseason drama. Discussion topics include but are not limited to: what Theo Epstein was smokin’ when he re-signed Varitek, the end of Troy Tulowitski, the continued morphing of the Hall of Fame, the A-Gon deal and much, much more… all to make you laugh that milk right through your nose!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. You can check out Keith’s wicked podcast and his subsequent film projects at Undercard Films. The dude has mad skillz, so you might wanna pay attention. Do it! Now!
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Recorded Saturday, December 4, 2010
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.