And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010
Prior to the 2009 season, one would not be in error by labeling me a bonafide St. Louis Cardinal Hiney Bird. Having not really addressed our bullpen woes of 2008, I seriously didn’t think the Redbirds had a chance at achieving anything this season.
Obviously, I was wrong. And I’ve apologized for that.
I did, however, look forward to an exciting new edition of my neighborhood Chicago White Sox. And, yes folks, it does happen (albeit rarely): I was wrong… again.
But I have to go out on a limb and defend Kenny Williams from Chicago Tribune reporter Phil Rogers who blamed much of the White Sox’s 2009 downfall on the trades of Nick Swisher and Javier Vazquez.
To quote the Hawk: “That’s just B.S.! B.S.! That’s just B.S.!”
Nick Swisher’s 2008 stint with the Sox was abysmal at best. He underachieved in every category except rambunctiousness per game. He was a shackle on the Sox’s youth movement and rumor had it that he was more interested in picking up chicks in the Viagra Triangle than he was picking up runners in scoring position.
Javi Vazquez never looked comfortable in the Chi. Sure he’d get ya lots of strikeouts, but he also gave up a bunch of runs; and with Gavin Floyd and John Danks on the horizon of being dominating starters, it made sense to move Javi (and his paycheck) to make more room.
But sometimes things don’t always work out (see Sarah Palin’s “political” career). The ’09 White Sox have wallowed in mediocrity while the Cardinals are set to win the NL Central Division crown.
You see, dear readers, baseball is so captivating, so riveting, so followable because there is no such thing as a sure thing. So to all you Hiney Birds (me included) here’s a lesson from possibly the world’s worst broadcaster:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s no secret, folks. As a Cardinals fan living on the Southside of Chicago, when it comes to American League baseball, I align myself with the only team whose fans love to hate the Cubs more than I do: the White Sox. Besides our distaste for the Northsiders, we share many things in common: we are Winners (see 2005, 1917, ’06 for the Sox, see 2006, 1982, ’67, ’64, ’46, ’44, ’42, ’34, ’31, ’26 for the Cards) and the Sox, under Ozzie Guillen, tend to play a little faster, smaller game reminiscent of the National League style. I get to see my Redbirds when they come to Wrigley each season, but because the idiots who made the schedule this year decided the Cubs/Cards series wasn’t important enough that they should maybe play a set in Chicago before August, I have to whet my appetite with the team just blocks from my home.
On Saturday, I woke up still hung over from the onslaught of fan-mail and paparazzi chasings resulting from MLB’s recognition of Red State Blue State. The rain was falling at a steady pace creating gloomy shadows on my plans for the day, but the Tigers were in town (I could smell their stink from my house) and nothing would please me more than to see the Good Guys beat the Bad Guys. There was no staying home.
Fighting my way through the crowd outside 29th & Poplar Ave, I managed to meet the #8 Halsted bus just as it was arriving. I got on and kept my head low; it wasn’t until we reached 35th St. that someone finally recognized me:
“Hey, aren’t you that guy from Harry Potter?” some kid said.
“No. That’s not me.”
“You sure? You look just like Harry Potter.”
“No, you probably recognize me from Red State Blue State, the MLBlog made famous by–
“Shut up. You’re Harry Potter. Can I have your autograph?”
I signed the autograph. I signed it “Eat Me” in big block letters and was off the bus before anyone noticed.
A brisk walk later, I was standing in front of the glory that is The Joan (aka U.S. Cellular Field, The Cell). At first sight, it was a dreary picture:
I did have to take a moment and pay homage to the commemorative 2005 sculpture out front with bronze likenesses of Ozzie, Paulie, Crede, Dye & Co.:
But enough about my perils and lack of humility. There was a game going on, and as you can see from this picture, everyone was out to see it by first pitch:
p; If only I were a trustfund baby on the Northside and Mommy and Daddy would support my drinking habit and I could go to that sold out 1:20 p.m. start on a Thursday because I don’t have to work for a living…
Sorry. The game. I was talking about the game. Not much was going on really. Verlander and Floyd were dealing. It was fast. Orlando Cabrera put one on the boooooooaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrd, YES! and Carlos Quinton gunned a man out at the plate and Joe Crede had a move at third that would make Brooks Robinson proud. But not much else. The rain. The rain never stopped.
Then I looked up at the centerfield clock. It read 1:05 p.m. Game started at 12:05. We were already in the middle of the 5th inning! I looked at the scoreboard and saw quite the anomaly: all zeros across the DET line. I nudged my buddy, Ron Harlow, and said, “Hey, pal. Look at the scoreboard.” Our eyes locked, we shut up and we enjoyed the magic.
The Sox went on a scoring spree.
Gavin Floyd dealt.
Having never witnessed a no-hitter in person, I was praying that Gav could pull through. But in the 8th inning, only five outs away, Edgar Renteria hit a bloop single to right and the no-no was no more. Gavin got a huge ovation from all 1,000 of us who were there and Ozzie ran out and gave him the hook.
Good Guys 7, Bad Guys 0, Final.
It was a great first game to see. Can’t wait for the next one.
In the meantime, Allen’s Hockeytown Tigers continue to disappoint (but they’re still gettin’ paid). It’s a shame. A travesty. Sickening. I have a feeling we’ll be talking about this team for years to come as the most underachieving in history.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Click here for the Jason Grilli ERA Watch.