I once dated a girl from Wisconsin. Well, actually, she was from Wisconsin, but she told everyone she was from Minnesota because she was embarrassed by her rural Sconnie roots. Oh what a difference a decade can make!
Now, hailing from Minnesota will get you all sorts of snickers and sneers. From the incoherent and elementary mumblings of a psychopath with presidential aspirations to a defunct state government that thinks it should get paid even though it’s not doing any work, the North Star State is looking more and more like the Land of 10,000 Gaffes.
And that’s not even including the moribund Twins!
Believe me, I’m just as shocked as you. Traditionally, the Twins do everything right. They see the ball. They catch the ball. They use two hands. From top to bottom, they are the most fundamentally sound franchise in the Big Leagues, which is why they’ve been able to find success despite having a not-so-star studded roster.
But they let their 2010 bullpen of bad@sses go. When he plays, Joe Mauer has been… er… um… not Joe Mauer. And between getting his bell rung and having an uncooperative neck, 2006 MVP Justin Morneau has been about as fearsome as a Keenan Cahill video.
Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, which is why the Twins will always be happy to destroy the White Sox.
Unfortunately, that won’t be enough for the Twins to make any noise in the AL Central. I know the Mike Francescas and Harold Reynolds of the world still have faith, but those people are stupid. The Twins are done.
I can only hope the same is true for Bachmann and the tepid taxpayers of her dejected state.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Long a bothersome subject of the baseball world, RSBS and our talented staff of interns have finally decided to delve into this curiously confounding query: Why is Clint Hurdle orange? While the definitive answer may elude us still, we continue to take great pride in narrowing it down to the following reasons:
Finally realized Matt Holliday wasn’t safe
He’s actually part Oompa loompa
Wished the Cash for Clunkers program existed when looking to trade in Danny Ardoin and J.D. Closser for the $145.64 they were worth
Just read Ann Coulter’s blog
Being shown up by Jim Tracy caused him to overcompensate by excessive tanning
But in the end, we are all fairly certain that the actual reason that Clint Hurdle is orange is because:
He’s addicted to Tang.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Would someone please explain to me how MLB.com (in all its ballsy-get-outta-my-way glory) has no problem calling Washington Nationals’ first round draft pick, Stephen Strasburg, a “future ace” before he has ever put on a Big League uniform? I speak Chinese. I speak it really well. That does not make me the “future ace” of Sino-US diplomacy.
Or does it?
Now that I have suffered through Bud Selig mispronouncing Cincinnati as “Cincin-nattuh”, Harold Reynolds beating the meaning out of the word “signability” and the absence of MLB Tonight (perhaps the most entertaining baseball program on the planet due to its painstaking efforts to suck in the ADD crowd), I think I have a solution to all this draft hoopla.
Listen up, Washington Nationals. Quickly, throw all the money you have at Strasburg, give him a private jet, a harem fit for a politician and whatever else he could possibly need, then let that boy prove himself at the Major League level. Right now.
The current state of the Nationals is, at best, barrenly bleak: their pitching staff is five Shairon Martis wins above absolutely atrocious, their defense makes Alfonso Soriano look like a diamond wheel gold-glover, Adam Dunn can’t get a properly fitted jersey to save his spare tire, the jerseys they do have are highly susceptible to the occasional spelling blunder (*ahem*, make that, blunders, plural), they suffer from an extreme identity crisis (are we the Nationals/Expos/Senators/Twins/Rangers/the other Senators?), enlist low-brow stomach-churning marketing, are exposed by their inability to properly discharge sausages into the stands, still employ Kip Wells and now they can’t even shoot off fireworks without dumping debris on their own city fire chief (thanks for the tip, Matt).
What the hell could it hurt to put Strasburg in the rotation?
Throw him into the D.C. fire already. Let’s see if this kid is indeed a “future ace”, an ace, a back-end starter or a just a plain old joke like the rest of the Washington Nationals.
Do it, do it quickly and do it now. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Listen up, Major League Baseball. I love you. I really do; and sometimes being in love means having to bring you back down to earth, to be horribly blunt and to shower you with lots of smack (the slang, not the drug, though sometimes the drug seems like a better option in extreme cases, like when you overflow my inbox with crap I don’t want and never asked for).
MLB, you are not the NFL. You are not the NBA. You are MLB.
So while I commend you for trying to drum up interest in something — the first year player draft — that is, on the surface, boring and otherwise three to four years removed (if that) from the current game, I must ask you to please snap out of it!
For the record, I do not care about the NFL and NBA drafts either, but I can certainly see why people do. If you are a basketball and/or football fan, you have seen the potential draftees come up through the highly competitive elite forces of the NCAA. Bowl games are slammed down your throat. March Madness is so mad that it doesn’t end until April. You know the players. You’ve seen their talents. You hope your pro team gets a shot at their services.
In contrast, the potential baseball draftees are as familiar to us fans as is a logical, amicable, non-infuriating Ann Coulter. In the NFL and NBA, if you get drafted, your chances of seeing playing time at the top are almost a given, while most of the guys drafted in the MLB draft will never put on a big league uniform. Sure, your Griffeys, A-Rods and Verlanders — guys who go in the first round or two — will most likely make it; but the majority of the rest will wallow away in the minor leagues, battle disillusionment, come to grips with not being good enough and before you know it they’re faxing TPS reports behind a desk while reading RSBS for giggles.
So as MLB pats itself on its self-aggrandizing back about televising this overblown shindig so they can sell lots of advertising to companies gullible enough to think that it will actually rival that of its football and basketball brethren, you can be sure that I will be spending my time wisely. Dear readers, I advise you to do the same; and just in case you can’t think of anything better to do, here are some suggestions:
- Remember, question and lament the hype of Pete Incaviglia
- Write hate-mail to Rush Limbaugh and sign it “Jesus”
- Clone Chris Carpenter
- Come up with clever gimmicks to sell your new religion start-up (worked for me!)
- Or, God forbid, watch an actual Major League Baseball game with real-life Major Leaguers
Indeed, that is but a short list of things I will be doing instead of watching your draft, MLB. I will not be listening to Harold Reynolds start every sentence with “Now, here’s a guy…” nor will I sing praises of your precious college phenom Stephen Strasburg when he is — as you already told me he would be — drafted in the first round. I’ll wait until he collects the league minimum $400K for that.
I know a poser when I see one and it is because I love you, MLB, that I have to call you one to your face. Go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m critical of your identity crisis, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
During the past week we watched the opening of two new multi-million
dollar stadiums in New York City and during this time MLB and the major
sports channels more or less ignored everything else going on around
the league. Was the opening of the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
really such important news or was Heath Bell accurate in saying that
ESPN and other providers are completely focused on a few teams to the
detriment of the rest of the league?
Pardon me for being a-holishly frank, dear readers, but I think it is pretty damn sad that it took Heath Bell (of all reinvented people) to bring the media’s obvious love affair with New York and Boston into the public domain. Nothing against, Heath, who has now become my own personal savior for his ESPN remarks, but we here at RSBS as well as myriad Joe Six-Packs in sports bars galore all across Anytowns, US America, have been harping on this oh-so-blatant injustice for years now.
Heath Bell said:
“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and
Yankees and Mets – and nobody else. That’s why I like the MLB Network, because they promote everybody. I’m
really turned off by ESPN and ‘Baseball Tonight.’ When Jake Peavy threw
8 1/3 innings on Saturday, they showed one pitch in the third inning
and that was it. It’s all about the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.”
True story, Heath. True story.
Just for the record, regarding the two new ballparks in New York (one of which cost $1.5 billion) let me just say that I don’t remember there being such a fuss over the new Busch Stadium or PNC Park or even Nationals Park for that matter.
Yet all week long I have been bombarded with information I could care less about:
- The first homerun in new Yankee Stadium.
- The first multi-RBI game at CITI Field.
- The first blab-hole jerkazoid kicked out of new Yankee Stadium for using foul language and fists to explain his innermost self-loathing while watching the Indians score 14 runs in one inning.
I don’t care.
And I ain’t alone.
The good news is, Heath Bell’s voice was heard and ESPN reacted quickly by having him on Baseball Tonight. Shortly after that, the once monopolizing baseball program introduced it’s 30 Team Ticker, which offers tidbits of information on all 30 teams at the bottom of the screen while the analysts blab on about how much they love the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.
But just like the leaderless GOP of 2008 desperately trying to reinvent its image after devastating the public by dropping the ball in New Orleans and Iraq while allowing the economy to collapse over and over again… it was just too little, too late.
Folks, we have a choice. Join Al and I; heed Heath Bell’s call.
Switch to the MLB Network. Enjoy equal coverage. Play the RSBS Harold Reynolds drinking game.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
How very un-American our mothers are!
Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American. Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis. (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)
Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about. And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals:
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays. Okay. Fair enough, Curt. You are a gamer. You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level. Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for? And why the ultimatum for those two teams? Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs? This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.” I do not think anyone would have a problem with that. The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that. He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”
Go eat yourself to death, Rush.
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts. In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it. But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing. He said:
“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”
Hmm. Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one. Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book! Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know. Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say. From my vantage point, that ain’t happening. We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders. Big difference.
I know, I know. Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet. But he will. That is what he does.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season. That is classy. No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy. Believe that.
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.
When Joe Torre, one of the untouchable paragons of class, is getting slammed for allegedly revealing all the Evil Empire‘s dirty secrets in a book that no one has had the chance to even read yet, I think it’s a pretty clear sign that we’ve run out of things to talk about this off-season. Manny being Manny being unsigned is now as interesting a story as Bea Arthur is sexy. The Varitek saga in Boston is teetering on the pathetic. And when the Rangers look to be the best bet for unreliable dark horse Ben Sheets, does anyone really care anymore?
How about a new MLB Network drinking game? It may not be that ramshackle of japery that we created back during the post-season/presidential debate, but it sure will sauce your inhibitions quicker than Rush Limbaugh will make you want to commit suicide.
It’s simple. Tune in to the Hot Stove Show and anytime Harold Reynolds leads the panel in a symphony of phrases uncomfortably coated by the word “guy”, take a drink. You’ll be hammered ten minutes in to the program.
Look, I have nothing personal against Harold Reynolds and his self-serving ramblings. He seems like a genuinely nice man and most of the time I actually get something out of his demonstrations on the diamond; but I sometimes feel dumb listening to his emphatic, annoyingly frequent use of the word “guy”. Let me paraphrase a sample, dear reader — a hypothetical spew based on several weeks of actually listening to the man:
A guy like Manny… Manny Ramirez is a guy who just doesn’t change a team, he changes a division. Guys see a guy like Manny in the clubhouse and then guys are suddenly seeing changes. He’s a guy who has the ability to go out there and be that guy that all the other guys are honing in on — a guy who can beat you every time he takes the field. And guys on the other side, guys on your side, those guys see that too. Makes them want to go out there and be more competitive guys, guys that get things done. You see guys change, not just guys on the team, but guys throughout the division.
I wish I were exaggerating.
H.R.’s inability to find a synonym for “guy” probably wouldn’t bother me so much if he didn’t subliminally infect the rest of the cast with his lecherous verbal disease. Broadcasting newbies Barry Larkin and Al Leiter have picked up on it, and the ensuing cacophony is near deafening.
But, I keep watching… ‘cuz I love the MLB Network. I can’t stop watching it. So I might have a problem.
As much as I love it, there is one block of MLB Network programing that baffles me like a Spaceman eephus pitch.
Whoever thought it would be a good idea to rerun old homerun derbies during a prime-time slot deserves to have John Kruk sit on his face during the two hours they’re being aired. The homerun derby? Really? I’m supposed to get excited about watching a bunch of superstars hit lollygaggin’ Jamie Moyer fastballs from two, three, four years ago while Chris Berman entertains himself ad nauseum with his cutesy cleverness? I didn’t care about the homerun derby the first time; why would I care now?
And even if you do enjoy the homerun derby (when it actually happens each July), do you really get excited about watching it again? Save Josh Hamilton’s gargantuan effort of 2008 — a contest which he ultimately lost — is there really anything titillating in any homerun derby that makes you say: “Yeah! Can’t wait to put aside two hours to watch that again!”
MLB Productions has done a fine job of producing edgy, dramatic, quality programs that explore the deep history and colorful characters of the game. I haven’t been disappointed with one of their productions yet. So I am both baffled and bored by the network’s decision to rerun past derbies instead of wowing us with original content. Seems like they’re missing a big opportunity there.
The good news is: if I play the H.R. drinking game, I won’t be conscious enough to watch the derby reruns anyway.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Apparently, it is.
My errant, crass, flagitious friend and colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, channeled his inner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and once again said something he shouldn’t have by blaspheming the fairest of all sideline sports reporters in Erin Andrews. All of Ms. Andrews’ gangly gawkers (me included) are hereby pissed off. And we are tired of Allen’s unbending defiance towards she and all her… er… beauty.
It must stop.
For the same reason I can’t understand why Tyler Perry is allowed to make movies, I cannot even begin to understand how Mr. Krause is able to continually force his imprudent worldview upon the dear readers of RSBS. Sure, Erin Andrews’ sister, Kendra, is an attractive lady. But she ain’t no Erin:
And let’s not forget what really makes Erin tops among the Andrews sisters: she knows baseball. Not only does she know it, she reports it, and she looks smokin’ hot doing it. Any time a woman can distract my ogling eyes with a learned baseball vernacular which includes the tenets of situational hitting, bullpen side-sessions and last minute lineup changes, she automatically jumps to the top of any and all lists.
To stay on the subject of my myriad intangible crushes, I can’t help but wish there was some other connection between baseball and American Idol other than my inexplicable home-wrecking obsession with them both.
Say hello to Idol‘s newest doll-face, er… I mean, Idol‘s newest judge:
This might be a good time to push aside my man-crush for Albert Pujols and get on board the Kara DioGuardi train. You might know her for her hit songs sung by other women whom I am sickly attracted to like Carrie Underwood and Christina Aguilera as well as Mr. Krause’s cherished boy-toy hero: David Archuleta.
In any case, I’ll take a sleeper car.
And for fear that you may have missed it, folks, last night on MLB Network’s Hot Stove show, Victor Rojas and Harold Reynolds had a sit-down discussion with the great Rickey Henderson in which Rickey said: “…my mom is the reason I’m goin’ to Coopertown.”
I hope Rickey still has his legs ‘cuz it’s a long way from Tennessee to New York.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.