“It’s wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.”
— Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President
Dear readers, the dust never seems to settle on the always emotional Chicago baseball debate. An incessant contest of he-said/she-said peppered with never-ending rapid fire quips that are as old as the milk in my refrigerator (that’s really old), this argument (like Republican attack ads) simply will not go away. Just when I thought everything had been said ad nauseum, message boards and blogospheres started to blow up again with more of the same…
Like in *this recent story* where presidential hopeful Barack Obama is blasted by commentors galore for his remark:
“You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful
people up there. People aren’t watching the game. It’s not serious.
White Sox, that’s baseball. Southside.”
Come on, folks. Why act like you’ve never heard this before? The sentiment is as old as the argument itself. The Sox fan says this and the Cubs fan comes back with: Remember the Black Sox.
Sox Fan: Well, remember the goat.
Cubs Fan: Oh, yeah, well remember we pack the house for every game while you’re lucky to have a handful of fans in the stands.
Sox Fan: Oh, really? Yeah? Well, try not winning a world series for a 100 years.
And so on and so on until the end of time or until someone gets hurt.
I think the bigger, more admirable story here is that Barack Obama chooses to distance himself from the popular political move of making everyone happy. He’s a Sox fan. He’s sticking to it even if that means pissing off a great number of his constituents. I think it’s safe to say that his steadfast affiliation with the Southside is a great breath of fresh air after the fallout from the much publicized Rudy Giuliani fiasco, not to mention Hillary Clinton’s adamant declaration to be a die hard Cubs fan, then a Yankees fan, then a Cubs fan again.
Politicians live under a microscope and they have a reputation for being sleazy for a damn good reason.
I find it quite difficult to even find a solid argument against that so don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Let us take a look at who’s crying about nonsensical surface crap today:
Hillary Clinton: “I wasn’t even vetted”
So? Who cares? You lost the primary. Get it? You lost. That means: you didn’t win. Why not being chosen as the party’s candidate should make you an automatic lock to be vetted for V.P. is beyond me. US America already decided that you weren’t the one to represent, so why should you be considered for the position? Since when does losing make you eligible to be second in command?
The answer: it doesn’t.
Those Who Won’t Accept the Fact that Money Can’t Buy Everything
Finally, it ain’t all about the benjamins, folks. The Yankees, the Tigers… they’re not going to make the playoffs this year despite their big fat payrolls. This makes me extremely happy. Now you know how it feels — Yankee fans — to be a midwesterner rooting for a small market team. How you’re feeling right now is how we feel almost every year. Doesn’t feel very good, does it? Well, now you know. Oh… and Tiger fans… you know this feeling all too well; it’s just extra special sad for you this year since you decided to pretend to be the Yankees with your wallets this season. Whoops.
Cub Fans Who Are Upset that they Haven’t Been Crowned World Series Champs Yet
Look, I get it. The Cubs are good this year. They’re really good. As much as I hate to admit it, you won’t get an argument out of me. The thing is (and believe me, I know: see St. Louis Cardinals 2004, 2005 as to why): you have to play through August and then September and then the playoffs (NLDS, NLCS, WS) and then you have to win all of those series too to be considered the World Series Champs. You can’t just go and crown yourselves with six weeks left to play. My advice to you? Chill the hell out. Let the Cardinals and Brewers battle for the Wild Card and just be glad you’ve made it this far because we all know the Cubs — if anything — will always be the Cubs (double meaning intended).
Cry all you want, but don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Dear readers, I may not be a religious man (unless you call screaming “goddamn it!” at the television every time Tony LaRussa goes to the bullpen being religious); but I do believe that the world has a certain order to it — a general plan of well-being that should never be tampered with or questioned. I may not like it, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s a reason why the Redbirds didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline. There’s a reason why Kenny Williams kept Juan Uribe on the Southside. There’s a reason why my counterpart, Allen Krause, is a bit delusional in his posts.
Knowing this, I know I shall not dare test the waters of fate.
So that is why I’d like to offer Hillary Clinton Campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfson a great big RSBS “EAT IT!“ for his crybaby rumblings of heretical hindsight and coulda-shoulda-woulda politics.
After Senator John Edwards’ extramarital affair became public late last week, Wolfson offered this statement:
“I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee [had Edwards’ affair been public at the time]…Our voters and Edwards’ voters were the same people… They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama.”
Sure, Wolfie. Sounds good. Easy to say now even if it is just loosely based speculation. Did you speak with all of the Iowa voters who cast ballots for Edwards? Did all of those Edwards supporters contact you personally to tell you they voted for him but would’ve voted for Hillary if they knew Johnny was out fumbling with a lady who wasn’t his wife? Really? Is that how you got all of this inside information? And what if you did win Iowa? Obviously, that means you would’ve swept every other primary too, right? No competition at all because winning Iowa makes you a lock to win the nomination? Uh, excuse me… were you even watching the primary? Uh… did you see how friggin’ close it was all the way to Puerto Rico?
Mr. Wolfson, I’m afraid such staunch statements do absolutely no good for a Democratic party that already risks the perils of division simply because your people won’t get on the winning team in the fight to make a difference in November. Referencing what could have happened if what happened didn’t happen doesn’t do a whole lot in the way of progression. It just makes you look like a whiny sore losing crybaby who won’t be satisfied until he gets what he wants; but, as you, I and the rest of US America clearly see: that just ain’t gonna happen.
This puling rant reminds me of a certain Northside faction who — to this day — continue to put all the blame on a fan for their 2003 NLCS shortcomings rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.
This divisive tirade reminds me of a certain blogger (RSBS‘ very own Mr. Allen Krause) who — to this day — continues to put all the blame on the shoddy defense of the Tigers’ pitching staff for their 2006 World Series fall rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.
Give credit where credit is due, people… and quit your whining.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There comes a point in every season where you realize that it’s time to throw in the towel. For Oakland A’s fans, that point comes in the first round or so of the playoffs. For Royals fans, it’s opening day. And for Cubs fans, well, they never seem to realize that it’s time. But, even though there’s still a lot of games to be played in the season, I’m going to go ahead and say it. I’m throwing in the towel on the Tigers.
Now, normally I wouldn’t be saying something so blasphemous at this point, especially since my friend Mr. Lung will have no small amount of fun with this. But, the fact of the matter is that for all the money the Tigers spent on hitting and pitching during the offseason (12 million on Dontrelle and he can’t even throw strikes in single-A ball???!), they can’t seem to score any runs and the addition of Farnsworth to the bullpen did not help an already woeful pitching staff. So, I’ll admit it. You were right. The Tigers will not make the playoffs and I’m going to be stuck watching the same six teams battle it out in the AL. Sounds great.
But, at least you’ll be joining me while the Cardinals become another also ran and the Brewers and Cubbies run away with the division.
However, let me break the Tigers and Cards down for you in terms that are germane to this blog. The Tigers are Hillary Clinton, spending lots of money, going into debt and the whole world is sure they’re going to represent them come the end of the season. But when it comes down to it, a couple really bad moves end up killing them. And the Cardinals are Ron Paul, a great story with a lot of the right elements but, in the end, they just don’t have all the pieces you need to make it to the payoff round.
So, at this point I’m guessing this is making you feel about as good as it makes me feel and that ain’t good. So, I’ll just let it go and pour out a little for my fallen friends, the Detroit Tigers. Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll come back some day like I’m still sure Tupac is going to do.
The Cubs, Cards and Brewers have turned the NL Central into a dogfight. With
Chicago and Milwaukee making big moves to bring in high caliber pitching,
St. Louis seems to be the odd man out at this point. What moves if any do
you think the Cards will make and which team (or teams) will emerge from the
dust in September?
Allow me to begin by sending out a great big RSBS EAT IT! to all the critics and analysts who said the NL Central would be the worst division in baseball prior to the season’s start. On the contrary, the Central has turned out to be one of the better, more exciting divisions to watch. Of course, with the NY/LA obsessed media still dictating what is and isn’t entertaining to the mass of US Americans, this competitive division will probably still remain out of the spotlight. This is a downright shame — not as shameful as the existing snoozefest otherwise known as the NL West — but still, it’s a shame.
And as Mr. Krause points out, the NL Central has gotten a whole lot better in recent weeks. But while the Brewers and Cubs went out and made heavy hitting deals for C.C. Sabathia (with periods on my watch) and Rich Harden respectively, it appears that the Cardinals front office really is sitting back — waiting for some divine intervention deus ex machina style.
Or are they?
Long gone are the Walt Jocketty days of going out and getting a guy to win now. No more Larry Walker or Will Clark-esque deals will be happening under John Mozeliak’s rule — that much was already made clear in the offseason when the Brewers, Cubs and Astros all went out and spent a lot of money to get better, thus leaving the Redbirds (and their fans) questioning the sincerity of Mozeliak’s commitment to now. To say that Mozeliak doesn’t want to win is unfair; I believe he does, but I also think his methods are unrealistic when considering our competition and their subsequent open pocketbooks.
Mozeliak and the Cardinals’ brass have been saying that the mid-season reactivation of Mark Mulder and Chris Carpenter would be their “big move” before the trade deadline. Well, the first part of that plan has already proved a bigger bust than the Billary Clinton campaign’s postponing cession from the primaries because “…Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” So let’s not count on Mark Mulder’s bum arm/shoulder to be anything other than what it is: a bum arm/shoulder.
And while Chris Carpenter could be that mentally motivating savior in the clubhouse who simultaneously goes on a hot streak of domination, what if he’s not? What if he goes back on the DL? It’s very possible, folks. The guy hasn’t pitched a big league game since opening day of 2007 and while his presence was definitely missed last year, it really hasn’t been missed that much this season. The St. Louis hodgepodge rotation of Wainwright (when healthy), Lohse, Looper, Wellemeyer, Pineiro and Brad Thompson have done quite well for themselves. The Cardinals’ Achilles heal isn’t starting pitching.
Nor is it protecting Albert, though many people would like us to believe that. Rumors are afloat that the Cardinals could make a big, colossal, GINORMOUS deal for Matt Holliday. Really? Is that what St. Louis needs? Another big, expensive bat who we won’t be able to afford after 2009? No. Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus, as far under the radar as they are, have been doing a good job of protecting A.P.
What the Cardinals really need is a reliever who can throw anything other than lollygaggin’ batting practice fastballs late in a game. And they are out there: Damaso Marte, George Sherrill, Brian Fuentes. One of those guys better be wearing the birds on the bat before July 31st or I may drink myself into delirium from anguish. In recent weeks, watching the last three innings of a Cardinal game has become as uncomfortable as this:
And no one wants to suffer like that — not even John McCain, which is why he hasn’t taken a liking to the moniker: MC CAIN. Too bad for him… and liberals abound.
So who will be at the top of the Central once it is all said in done? Hell if I know. If I did, I wouldn’t be watching the games so intently, or care. But thanks for asking, Mr. Krause. If you remember correctly, I did predict the Brewers would win the Central while secretly hoping the Cards would at least have a wild card bid. The second half of that may be true still, but those Cubbies are awfully tough, which is exactly why I’ll be so happy to see them crumble towards the end of the year (if my deal with the devil works out the way it’s supposed to).
On the flipside, in the American League Central, I hear that Jimmy Leyland is so upset, distraught, and bothered by the lack of urgency in his team (particularly the pitching staff) that he is exploring new avenues of work. In his preparation, he sent me this official press photo that he hopes will ignite interest:
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
This is to you and you only, Mr. Krause: You’re absolutely nuts. You’re absolutely nuts, and you’re absolutely wrong. You’re absolutely nuts, you’re absolutely wrong and your most recent post is absolutely embarrassing.
I have given you a pass on the dumb things that have come out of your posts before — sometimes I merely chided you and sometimes I partook in a bit of playful teasing; but like Hillary and her ill-timed reference to Bobby Kennedy’s June primary assassination, this time, you have gone too far, Al.
And you must suffer the consequences.
When asked if hitting .400 was an unreachable goal, you responded with such infantile and insane statements like:
“…the answer is yes, hitting .400 is an unreachable goal today. There
is so much that goes into just simply getting a hit, a guy who can hit
.300 or better is a catch. I mean, first of all you have to make
contact with balls that are coming at crazy speeds and crazy angles and
then you have to put it into a place where a fielder is not. In the
game today, managers and players alike do their homework and
positioning makes it that much harder to get a decent hit.”
REBUTTAL: You answered the question. I’ll give you that. But your reasoning is reminiscent of George W. in that it’s straight out of Crazytown. ‘Crazy speeds and crazy angles‘? Seriously? The game of baseball (especially this aspect) has changed very little in the last 100 years, Al. ‘You have to put it into a place where a fielder is not‘? Again, since the inception of baseball this has always been the case. Do you even watch baseball? Do you know how it’s played? Have you ever played yourself?
“But the fact of the matter is that the level of competition day in and
day out in the Majors is much greater than it was back when Ted
Williams was scattering the ball all over the field. Besides, he also
froze his head so he can try to come back one day. Only someone who’s
that kind of crazy has a chance at .400.”
REBUTTAL: Really? So you’re saying that when Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941 — when there were just 16 teams in all of Major League Baseball — that the level of competition was less than it is now in 2008? You are aware that there are 30 teams in Major League Baseball now, right? You are aware that nowadays, guys like Geoff Jenkins and Sean Casey and Boof Bonser make it to the majors where as in 1941, they’d be lucky to catch the game on the radio while working at the local laundromat, right? And I’m quite sure that Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb didn’t have their heads frozen or anything like that, yet they managed to hit .400 and guess what: they’re Hall of Famers too!
“…the more important matter is what does it matter if someone hits .400?”
REBUTTAL: It matters, Mr. Krause, for the same reason that it matters if someone hits over 60 homers, or hits safely in 56 consecutive games, or gets over 200 hits in a season or steals 100 bases. It matters because it’s really friggin’ hard to do, man! Come on! Get a grip! We’re talking about hitting .400 here, not hitting for a cycle or some arbitrary numbers-related coincidence. Only 33 players in the history of MLB have ever hit over .400 for a season! And no one — I said NO ONE — has done it since 1941! Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby, George Sisler, Joe Jackson… I’d say those names are pretty synonymous with baseball greatness. Again, do you even watch baseball, Allen?
In conclusion, you wrote this:
“No, I don’t think .400 is an achievable goal but I also don’t think
it’s all that important. And that’s all I have to say about that.”
Fine. You’re definitely entitled to your opinion — as wrong as they often are — that it is ultimately an unachievable goal. Who knows, you might even be right. It still seems that the 56 game hitting streak is unrepeatable, so maybe hitting .400 is too. But to say that it is unimportant is absolute blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege. It is disrespectful of the greatest game on earth and the good people (me) who follow it to the nerdiest degree.
Hitting .400 is certainly important, Al.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
To be whole, you must be broken.
When the British imprisoned Gandhi, did he give up his string of peaceful protests? When Judas ratted out Jesus, did J.C. stop spreading the gospel? When Hillary blasted Obama for being associated with a hifalutin crazy-talkin’ preacher, did he cede the race, kill the birth of hope politics or spit on the dreams of US Americans to see real change?
No. They didn’t.
Now, as the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a similar predicament, the task is at hand: persevere, stay the course, rise from the dead if need be, but most importantly: keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Keep winning.
Without question, Albert Pujols’ injury is a devastating blow to a team who has already overcome an onslaught of adversity. Losing three seasoned veterans to other clubs, losing an ace starter, losing a key utility man to the evils of addiction, these are just a few of the obstacles they’ve been forced to overcome — not to mention the fact that no one — NO ONE — even gave them a fighting chance before the season started.
Yet despite all of the above, the Cards sit just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs (as I write this), and they’ve gotten there with hard work, solid pitching, timely hitting and gutsy performances. Pujols is and always will be the catalyst, but they wouldn’t be competing in the NL Central if it weren’t for the blue collar efforts of a mostly unheard of supporting cast.
Ludwick, Ankiel, Schumaker, Molina, Miles, Franklin and Lohse = Guts, guts, guts, guts, guts, guts and guts.
So why change anything now? Put Duncan at first base, adjust the batting order, put on that jockstrap and let’s grow a pair! Don’t lose a step! Do NOT panic! Do not get crazy, give up hope, make a stupid move or cede the race!
In other words, keep the same, simple attitude and forget about the baseball pundits that are now saying the Cards haven’t a chance in the world. According to them, we never did (see 2008 current standings, 2006 final standings for evidence of how this has been overcome before).
It’s only June. It’s far from over. And I’m right. Don’t hate me for it.