Jake Peavy sure has a loose yapper. In fact, it might be even more loose than his formerly detached latissimus dorsi, just one of the myriad things that have led to his supreme suckage in a White Sox uniform.
Sports Illustrated recently predicted the White Sox would lose 95 games in 2012. I don’t see that prediction as overly hyperbolic. The Sox were awful last year, and they haven’t done much to improve. In fact, after dealing Santos to the Blue Jays, I’d even say the 2012 team, on paper, IS WORSE than 2011’s.
Still, Peavy and his Curt Schilling-like tongue is quick to point out that such an observation is off:
“That ain’t going to happen. I can promise you that. This team has too much pride. We are going to compete. That’s all there is to it.” (link)
Whatever you say, Jake. Whatever you say.
If Peavy is correct (he’s not) and “pride” is all it takes to win ballgames, then why don’t teams just ditch everyone they have to sign 25 George Takeis and just get it over with?
Peavy is now a shell of what he once was. He doesn’t have the velocity and he doesn’t have the mental toughness to PITCH his way out of mistakes. He lets his emotions dictate performance. And he is constantly whining and bitching and talking crazy to the press.
He has done nothing in Chicago but play bad baseball and run his mouth. Sox fans can only hope he does well enough to get traded by July.
Hate me ‘cuz I compared Peavy’s mouth to Schilling’s, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The recent New York Times editorial/open letter from a former Goldman Sachs employee appears to have opened the floodgates to those seeking to leave behind a no longer fulfilling employment. However, RSBS was still shocked when the following letter arrived in our inbox the other day signed simply, Bud S.
TODAY is my last day at MLB. After more than 40 years at the organization — first as a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves, then in bringing the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee and renaming them the Brewers, and now as commissioner — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
But this was not always the case. For instance, over more than a decade I made sure that steroids not only entered the game but also redefined it. By looking the other way while Sammy, Mark and Barry launched bomb after artificially powered bomb, I ensured that baseball once again excited the ordinary American that had been lured away by the corn syrup sweetness of NASCAR and the NFL.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look players in the eye and tell them they could continue to juice.
How did we get here? The organization changed the way it thought about owners. Ownership used to be about overcharging fans, merchandising everything from jock straps to girly colored hats and looking the other way while players shot ‘roids in the locker room. Today, if you treat the team as your personal piggy bank (and use its assets to pay off the divorce settlement with your crazy ex-wife) you will lose the team and the money from its lucrative TV rights.
There used to be three quick ways to become a leader among owners: a) Execute on the organization’s “axes,” which is MLB-speak for persuading your fans to buy tickets or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your fans — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to buy whatever will bring the biggest profit to MLB. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. I prefer to sell them at least three. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any washed-up, aging slugger for much more than he’s worth. Adam Dunn, anyone?
Today, though, many owners display an MLB culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend postseason merchandising and ticket sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help owners or hose fans. It’s purely about how we can make this a “September to Remember.” If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that an owners’ success or pocketbook was not part of the thought process at all.
When I was a minority owner I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out how to charge more for cheaper hotdogs, understanding the process of selling the same volume of beer at three different (and increasingly more expensive) prices, getting to know our players and what motivated them while making sure they had a safe place and a helping hand when injecting steroids in their asses.
My proudest moments in life — owning a Brewers team that posted one of the worst winning percentages over a ten-year period in the history of baseball, joining other owners in colluding and then helping pay the $280 million settlement, overseeing the worst All-Star game in the history of baseball — have all come through focusing on profits and passing the prices on to the fans. MLB today has become too much “the fan experience” and not enough about soaking the suckers. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.
I hope this can be a wake-up call to the owners. Make your fellow owners the focal point of your business again. Without fans you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. But fans are simple-minded sheep who will do whatever you want so don’t worry about them. Get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons: steroids and making money for the owners. People who care only about making fans happy will not sustain this organization — or the trust of the owners — for very much longer.
Simplistic campaigns to hunt down public enemies (like Kony 2012) are all the rage these days. When will you all be launching Selig 2012?
It is no secret that the authors of these pages hold no love for the staunch bureaucratic policies and seemingly never-ending reign of King Bud the Nosepicker. Indeed, we’ve ripped the man’s decisions in every which way and have even gone as far as to say that George W. Bush would make a perfect Commissioner in comparison (no joke here, we really do think Dubya would be perfect for the job). But to compare Bud Selig to the heartless, maniacal, baby-raping mass murderer Joseph Kony? Um… that’s a bit much.
But just a bit.
The good news is, people are getting educated on Kony’s crimes. And they’re doing something about it (unless *this* derails it). However, when it comes to the tyranny of King Bud, we already know about the bevy of shenanigans. There’s just nothing we can do about it.
If I may break from the usual ‘ol crotchety me for a moment, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the overall state of our national pastime is as good now as it’s ever been. Seriously. If you turn your head from the silliness that is King Bud’s All-Star Game, and if make yourself forget about that whole Ryan Braun cheating thing, and pretend like the overall muscle bulge of the 90s and early aughts was caused by “supplements” that can easily be purchased at your local GNC, then you might conclude that, indeed, baseball’s vibe is very good right now.
The networks are fighting to get in on the expanded playoffs. Parity is slowly squeezing its way into all divisions. And the Pirates still suck!
More than that, people are still paying money to watch Adam Dunn play. Erin Andrews is still showing up in dugouts. And Tampa Bay seems to be in the playoff picture every year now, despite the fact that no one in Tampa Bay seems to care.
But most importantly of all, the St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs!
So for now, I can take a couple more years of bassackwards politickin’ from the usurping Milwaukee millionaire.
But I swear, Brad, if he reigns for more than two more years, you, me, Mr. Krause and the entire baseball universe are taking to the streets with Louisville Sluggers and Molotov cocktails (not to be confused with pet names for Kevin Millar).
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
_ _ _
If you follow this blog, you know that I am not a fan of pink baseball caps. I pretty much feel the same way about them that Rick Santorum feels about anything that smacks of fun: it’s a sin. I can get behind pink bats for breast cancer awareness and maybe even pink bases for one day. But people who show up to baseball games wearing pink hats? Nope. That just isn’t appropriate.
I’m not sure what it is about pink hats that annoys me so much. Almost every club has alternate caps that they wear from time to time to switch things up. However, the alternates tend to reflect the official colors of the team. In reality, alternate caps and jerseys are just a way for teams to generate revenue and that’s a brand of capitalism I can get behind. With the pink hats, though, I honestly don’t see how they can be making enough money to make it worthwhile. I’m sorry but a pink Detroit Tigers’ hat is just wrong. Despite my feelings toward the New York Yankees, I still don’t feel right seeing one of their caps in pink either.
But as much as I dislike the unholy spectre of pink baseball hats, it pales in comparison to my feelings for the no-talent asshattery of Brittany Smooch:[youtube http://youtu.be/_n-Qa99CnsY]
Seriously, if I was forced to choose between watching either this video or Two Girls, One Cup on a loop for 24 hours, there’s a good chance I’d ask for rat poison instead.
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!
Unless we’re talking about the cavernous anatomy of a female Kardashian, despite my best efforts, I still have not been able to pinpoint the location of a reachable and workable worm hole. Hadron Colliders the size of Prince Fielder’s appetite are also difficult to find these days. And let’s not even start talkin’ about the insane price of rocket fuel!
So how do I propose we travel back in time?
We open our eyes and take in the train wreck that is the Republican primary!
Want to live in a world where a woman’s reproductive rights don’t matter? Vote Republican!
Want to live in a world where your life is governed by an invisible sky daddy whose literary tome is as angry, erratic and suspect as a Manny Ramirez press conference? Vote Republican!
Want to live in a world where the ONE candidate who ACTUALLY MAKES SOME SENSE is so shunned that he doesn’t even have ONE person embedded in his campaign to report what is actually going on? Vote Republican!
We might not be able to travel back in time to stop the JFK assassination or Don Denkinger’s blindness during the ’85 Series, but as the above scenarios prove, we can go back about 100 years without much effort. Just know that, if we do, it may only be a matter of time before they may decide it is okay to own human beings and to kill others simply because they believe in a different fairytale.
Hate me. Whatevs. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Last year the Pirates tried to put an end to my relentless attack of literary low blows. Shortly after the All-Star break they were atop the NL Central and my head was appropriately buried in the sand (not kidding; by the way, it sucks.)
But then came Jerry Meals’ blown call and down, down, DOWN came the Pirates, settling into yet another comfortably uncomfortable 90 loss season.
Look, I’ve been burned before too, so I sorta feel for Pittsburgh. At the same time, insanity is still doing the same things over and over again expecting different results, right? So why should anyone in Pirate land be surprised?
THE FRONT OFFICE AIN’T DOIN’ IT RIGHT.
With the exception of Andrew McCutchen in 2005, the last 20 first round draft picks taken by Pittsburgh is a who’s who list of overblown talent busts. Among the KINGS OF NOBODYLAND are the likes of Bobby Bradley (1999), John VanBenschoten (2001) and Bryan Bullington (2002) — great sounding names, but swings and misses nonetheless.
Neal Huntington and the rest of the front office can say they’re doing things differently, but as long as they keep hoping Pedro Alvarez spends as much time perfecting his baseball tools as he does looking at the ground feeling sorry for himself, I’m afraid they have a long way to go.
Isn’t it about time they bring up those two Indian dudes?
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.