The rottenness I’m talking about is the foul stench that emanates from a past-his-prime public relations disaster who seems to have eaten Tony Gwynn on his way to joining the Sugar Land Skeeters. That’s right, as if taking a page right out of Jose Canseco’s book of insanity, Mr. Clemens, the fallen idol of my youth, is now preparing to embarrass himself with what I can only assume is a Favrian attempt to prolong the inevitable Hall of Fame first ballot denial.
If Roger can get on a Big League roster, he’ll get another five years before being considered. And who knows, by then they might be banning people 50 games for NOT TAKING EFFING STEROIDS.
And happy Friday!
Roger Clemens is not guilty.
Can this be over now?
Of course it can’t. It never will. For now until the end of time we’ll still be talking about the steroid era and those who made it infamous. Clemens is just one of many.
Still, I think it is safe to say his role in the overall picture of the steroid era is a bit larger than the rest. He’s up there alongside Barry, considering his Hall of Fame credentials and repugnant personality.
Before any of this steroid silliness was known, I loved Roger Clemens. He was a beast on the mound — a Nolan Ryan/Bob Gibson throwback. Proud, nasty, BALLSY.
But the Mitchell Report tainted his reputation, whether guilty or not, and Roger then ruined it further himself by being an outspokenly whiny ass. I understand the potential frustration that could come from having a tarnished reputation, but there are ways to handle adversity with class and there are ways to handle it like a jerk.
Clemens took the jerk route.
And undoing what ya done ain’t easily done.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The 2012 season will be Chipper Jones’ last, signifying for me a quaint full circle of baseball life. From a goofy-grinned rook to an over-the-hill vet, I had the pleasure of witnessing it all, and I can’t help but tip my cap to the future Hall of Famer for all he’s done throughout his career, on and off the field.
With that, here is what immediately enters my mind whenever his name comes up:
The 1995 Season
Infuriated by a silent October in ’94, I vehemently quit on Major League Baseball. I will have nothing to do with those crooked chumps! Who do they think they are taking away my Fall Classic!?!? Troglodytes the whole lot of ’em!
Yeah, but… see, there’s this guy named Chipper. He’s with the Braves. He’s gonna be a superstar.
And he was. 23 bombs. 86 RBIs. And one cool stroke, from both sides of the plate. By the second half of the ’95 season, all had been forgiven and I was hoarding baseball cards of a man with a goofy name.
The 2008 Season and Media Guide Photo
Now a lot of stuff happened between 1995 and 2008, but I want to focus on the monster season Chipper had. I recall arguing here with my lugubrious and oft-crotchety colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, whether or not Chipper could realistically hit .400. He made a good run at it, but had to settle for .364, and in the process provided one of the worst media guide photos of all time:
All-Star Weekend 2009
I had the good fortune of attending the ASG in St. Louis and taking in all the awesome that comes with such an extravaganza. As you can imagine, heavy drinking was involved, and on the evening of July 13, at a seedy bar deep in the heart of Soulard, I was an accomplice to my friend losing a $100 bar bet on whether or not Chipper played any significant time at any other position than third base during his career. I found out it only takes a few vodka bombs to forget that Chipper spent a some years manning left field for the Bravos. I think my pal has forgiven me for that absentmindedness. Now if only we could remember how we ended up in Sauget smelling like frosting, covered in glitter.
Yes, I’d say Chipper had a brilliant career, even if the last few years have looked more like an AH-64 Apache helicopter crash after attempting to push its limit. What’s THAT look like? Glad ya asked!
When I was 7 years old I watched Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. That one game had a huge impact on me, my imagination and why I eventually became the baseball-lovin-monster I am today.
It was the first time I’d ever witnessed “a miracle”, the first time I really understood you need 27 outs to win a baseball game and the first time I realized that there is no substitute for hard work.
Years later, as a teenager, I recall hearing Gary Carter tell his version of what took place in Flushing that night, that during his at-bat that started the astonishing go-ahead rally his only thought to himself was “Don’t make the last out.”
That resonated with me.
Don’t make the last out.
Don’t ever give up.
Don’t give any effort but your best.
Rest in peace, Number 8.
“Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.”
Those who know me know I like to do odd things, like throw myself off bridges, eat cuttlefish or play H.O.R.S.E. … with myself. But that’s not why I called.
In the spirit of odd things, I thought I’d use the funniest movie of all time to deal with all the MLB Hall of Fame talk.
Congrats! You made it out alive, Barry!!!
As we celebrate Barry Larkin’s entry to the hallowed Hall (even though it took three stupid years) I thought we should take a look at those who didn’t quite make it out of Overlook Hotel, the ones who will probably be there a while.
Jack Torrance: Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is? Do you?
I can’t out think a potato, but I know this: Piazza, Kent, Bagwell and Big Mac aren’t getting in. EVER. And I don’t think I have to explain why. But I digress…
Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chiny-chin-chin? Well then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in. [Axes the door]
Wendy, you’ve got a big surprise coming to you. You’re not going anywhere.
From one Jack to another… of course, Allen’s Jack Morris slipped through the cracks again. I feel for the kid (Allen), but I personally believe Jack will be dead before he leaves the snowy mountaintop of baseball’s purgatory labyrinth.
God, I’d give anything for a drink. I’d give my god-damned soul for just a glass of beer.
Good Luck, Lenny Dykstra… maybe next year… yeesh. And maybe stop talking for a while.
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff and Johanna (well, mostly Johanna) push the boundaries of political correctness, in that, well, they don’t see any boundaries. At all. Hot dog! They also get into pretty much anything and everything, including but not limited to Miggy Cabrera’s drinky-time, Albert Pujols’ year long stranglehold on Cardinals fans, a beyond the grave interview with Ron Santo and much, much more… all to make you have happy ending!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Keith does it all, yo! If you haven’t already, please check out Keith’s crew and subsequent podcast at Undercard Films. They’ll make you laugh. They’ll make you cry. They’ll make your face hurt! In a good way!
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Recorded Saturday, February 19, 2011
Today is election day here in the Chi. Rahm. Carol. Chico. Some other guy. Those are your choices for mayor. Oh… I mean, those are your Democratic party choices. In this town, Republicans just hang out at the local deep dish joint and get fat, occasionally showing up to an event to slam a Democrat or two. Such slams are rarely heard. Like they say, if a tree falls…
And don’t worry. When I showed up to vote this morning I didn’t let that pesky ghost of Ron Santo standing outside the polling center sway me. And judging by the turnout (or lack thereof), I don’t think anyone else is voting him in either.
Some things never change… like…
MR. KRAUSE’S WAR!
So, will you or won’t you, dear readers? Will you follow my jaded and oft lugubrious colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, to the trenches of a baseball-less existence… all to stick it to a guy (assuming Bud Selig does have proper male anatomy) who doesn’t care, who isn’t listening, who won’t get it anyway? Are you really ready to stay home and watch Maury all day instead of batting practice? Are you prepared to sulk in the reality that is a soulless sports sanctuary that includes *cough* the NBA and NHL? You do know that this has nothing to do with forcing change (why bring it up just now after all these years?) and everything to do with misery loves company, right?
It’s true dear readers… and it’s all the fault of…
Who else is to blame for Mr. Krause’s sudden bout of revolutionary activism? Why it can only be his beloved man-crush Miguel Cabrera, of course! With Miggy’s er… uh… “issues” causing alarm throughout the Tigers organization, Mr. Krause knows that his team’s season could be well over before it even starts. And that is why he is rushing to react, to draw in troops, to overthrow the baseball world so we all lose sight of Detroit slipping below Kansas City in the win column.
Believe it. Or don’t. Just don’t say you weren’t warned by someone in the know.
And… don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.