The Battle of Juan Pierre and How the Marlins Won the War
It’s obvious what has to happen, but too many heads, egos, and wangs are involved.
Everyone has a soft spot for J.P. , but the rift between Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams has us watching a veteran limp to the end of his career like Ol Yeller. You have a GM and manager pillow fighting when they could be on the same page about the players they have.
Our memories of Juan Pierre are warm and fuzzy, but, statistically speaking in weighted OBP and WAR, he’s the third worst player in baseball (after Chone Figgins and Raul Ibanez) and should be cut. He makes outs, gets picked off, drops fly balls, kills his team every day, but he’s a sweetheart and everyone loves Juan.
I feel sorry for Dayan.
I’m starting the Dayan Viciedo camp right now. We’ll have stables, a petting zoo and a FUN MIRROR.
Kenny is insisting that Ozzie isn’t ready to bring up Viciedo because he can’t handle the rookie. Huh? How much worse can he be than Juan Pierre? The issue is what do you do with the finality of the career of Pierre? Guillen’s loyalty to J.P. is getting out of hand. (This happens every season with Williams and Guillen.)
Viciedo is killing it in the minors and the blizzard of Oz and Kenny are screwing the Sox out of being better because of a sophomoric squabble that seems to have no end.
The locker room is getting torn apart because you have two players that should be benched, but only one of them can be cut because of the contract situation. If Adam Dunn was hitting, the Pierre issue would be muted.
This mess won’t be settled until the Oz man is managing the Marlins next year.
If you had to choose any manager in MLB today who might follow Jim Riggleman’s example and tell his GM to shove it, who would it be and how do you think they’d do it?
Honestly, Seth, I still can’t believe Riggleman had the gall to tell Rizzo to shove it! I mean, I knew Jim walked and talked like a boss… but I didn’t know he had Mt. Everest sized cojones! Somebody get that man a beer! And a whisky chaser!
Though what Riggleman did, as we probably all know by now, doesn’t really do him much good if he plans to continue managing in professional baseball. There aren’t too many baseball folks who can shake the acidic label of being a quitter (see Hanley Ramirez) and a 58 year old yes-man certainly isn’t one of them. Then again, dude knew he wasn’t the man in D.C., so I can’t blame him for not wanting to be
Ken Macha a lame duck; if it were me though, I woulda kept my mouth shut, got my paycheck, then requested a bunch of exotic (and expensive) fare for my clubhouse spread.
And because this Riggleman show has been so bizarre, I really cannot see it happening again anytime soon. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are bad GMs and porous front offices, but I don’t think any of them would cause a manager to commit career suicide.
Of course, that could all change if someone would just give poor Wally Backman another chance.
Alcohol abuse, short temper, bankruptcy, tax evasion… These are all things that come to mind when Backman’s name is brought up, not to mention the fact that the dude is good friends with Lenny Dykstra — not quite a paragon of amicability. I could imagine a half soused Wally Backman stumbling into GM XYZ’s office, shirt half untucked, bbq sauce stains above the letters, hat scrunched up in one hand, Keystone Light in the other, mumbling: “Pick up my option, dammit. Or I quit.”
GM XYZ sits back in his chair, loosens his tie and exhales as he examines the sad, disheveled remains of a World Series champion and says: “You’re fired.”
Why didn’t Rizzo just fire Riggleman again?
Hate me ‘cuz I refuse to resign, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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[Lennie] said gently, “George… I ain’t got mine. I musta lost it.” He looked down at the ground in despair.
My dear little Cubs… so cute… so adorable. I just want to pet you and stroke you and love you… and pretty pretty pretty rabbits… DONT MAKE ME RIP YOUR HEAD OFF!!!!!
Pet the rabbit. Pretty rabbit. Snap the rabbit’s neck and do odd things to the stable boy while you’re at it.
This isn’t love. This is obsession.
Why did he give out such terrible contracts? That’s a lot of money for crazy people.
This monstrosity is Hendry’s lasting legacy on a life wasted in futility. Thanks a lot, Jim.
What I would give for some stoicism on this team. There’s no leader from top to bottom of this rotting corpse of a franchise. There will be no Pujols. There will be no Prince.
AA meetings feel like a Las Vegas night club compared to the atmosphere of this dogged out team. I’m going to water seal my deck now and then auto-erotic asphyxiate without touching myself. Too much work. SEX WITH A LAWNMOWER.
After Carlos Zambrano’s latest outburst of craptitude, it’s obvious even the manager can’t do anything about this self imploding behemoth.
And Quade is Bruce Kimm with better hair. “Well I guess they’ll figure it out, and we’ll try and win games and stuff kinda?…” After Z’s comments, Quade said he’d let his teammates deal with it. WOW. He couldn’t control the team’s play at all or improve it, but now it’s obvious he has no control over the players either.
You know what? Just say we stink. Don’t call out your fellow players for throwing the “wrong” pitch. Pitch selection is being questioned? Unbelievable.
“Theriot can’t hit a fastball well.” Except if Marmol throws a better slider, Theriot is out.
“We stinks” [sic] was the only worthwhile and (entertaining) thing Z said.
People who like what Carlos did, hey, are you out of your damn fool minds?!? Its b.s. It might make the fans feel better, but it ain’t gonna do jack.
Z will waive his no trade clause, but it doesn’t matter.
The Cubs’ primed days are over. No farm system. Just beat me sadistically so my brain goes to sleep until the NBA season starts again in… January??? (gahhhhhhh!!!!!)
I would love to hear Z’s thoughts on other problematic issues like… Paul Revere: “What are you doing running around with that green lantern Paul?” The Japanese nuclear plant issues? “That’s not the concrete pump I would have used.” Health care reform bill? “Yea? Well your death panel sucks.”
The team is in a total free fall. The best thing Tom Ricketts can do is be one of us. But he has pissed it all away by scuttling the true point that the team sucks and injuries aren’t the only problem.
How about hiring a president that knows how to hire a real GM.
Good afternoon, real “Cubs” fan Colonel Ricketts. What’s you’re fricking plan?? It’s impossible to build without a farm. And no money. So… either borrow more money from Daddy Warbucks or do a little research and get a real living person who knows how to run a baseball team.
*I have a screen grab of Carlos Zambrano’s face I wanted to include here as one of the photos; unfortunately I was naked and some/most of me is also in the picture.
Alms for the Poor (or Trying to Feed 10,000 Voices)
I like Mike Quade. I really do. I just wish I could identify at least ten players on his team. I’m having a hard time recognizing my Cubs. The disabled list is filling up like the Titanic. Is Tony Campana an actual professional baseball player!?! Is Blake DeWitt!?!??
I’m a Cubs fan… but I don’t talk about it in public. During Cubs games, I often find myself calling an old friend, folding laundry, reading a book, picking up new hobbies like bird watching.
The Ricketts bought the team hoping to make money and they’re… NOT. They keep trying to borrow money, but that’s not working either.
Between the b.s. landmark status they can’t get around, Alderman Tom Tunney’s rooftop issues and the fact that they STILL don’t have their own TV station, the Cubs can’t make any money to save their pinstripes. Stupid decisions keep being made because Hendry is baseball-impaired, so I say we at least grab some damn coin somewhere.
Cut down the ivy and put up billboards. NO ONE WILL CARE. JUST DO SOMETHING.
Because people aren’t coming. They can’t do it anymore. Most of us would prefer hanging out at the filling station or a Mexican carwash.
Do the Cubs really think money will just show up like Kreskin would will it in his mind?
Maybe they should just sell some Ohio State college football memorabilia instead.
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.