Since I enjoy the weekends almost as much as I enjoy watching the sCrUBBIES plummet to 21 games under .500, I better get rid of all this heat-induced angst now, so I can enjoy the next two days in peace. That means y’all better get ready for some STOP ITs!
In the old days, being a Big Leaguer meant being the best you could be. It meant putting forth maximum effort, doing things the right way and positioning one’s self to win. After all, that’s the goal in baseball. To win. Of course, you could also be lame, like a very comfortable Aramis Ramirez, who is more inclined to settle for being a creaky cog in a wheel of crap at Wrigley Field than go somewhere his talents could actually be of some use. He cites his “family” as the reason, but that’s stupid. It’s two months. And you’re a friggin’ millionaire, dude. So STOP IT! Just STOP IT! Go win something. Nothing infuriates me more than talented people wasting their talents.
The White Sox
Speaking of stupid, how long will Kenny Williams & Co. allow the $14 million strikeout machine to clog up any and all paths to winning?!? Letting a marquis player work through a slump makes sense when the slump is… y’know, a slump. But when it’s AN ENTIRE SEASON it’s time to make a change. STOP IT, White Sox! You bombard me with your 2011 slogan of “All In” and the only thing you’re “all in” to is a giant, heaping pile of suck.
I love how we Chicagoans complain all winter long about how cold it is, then when summer comes along people are suddenly surprised they’re frying eggs on the sidewalk. Chicago in the summer is HOT. It has always been hot. So stop acting like you didn’t know this. Same thing goes for baseball players. It’s been hot during the summer for the entirety of baseball history. In fact, the old timers (REAL baseball men) used to wear WOOL UNIFORMS so STOP CRYING ABOUT IT, baseball players. You make millions of dollars playing a game I’d do Precious for to play, so quit bitching about the heat and just concentrate on doing your job.
And, as if all of the above isn’t enough, apparently we here in US America can’t even get our own pastimes right. No, I’m not talking about baseball. I’m talking about pizza.
Yeah, our pizza experience has been outsourced to India too. And, surprise, surprise… they do it better:
Although the Japanese no longer provide the same nightmare fodder that they did in the early 90’s, the Chinese have more than made up for the loss. Sure, most of the population still lives in abject poverty but the country’s economic might is ever increasing. More than that, with 1.2 billion people, how do we know they aren’t creating an army of Yao Ming-like super soldiers?
If you think I’m just fear-mongering, think again. The Chinese have developed a missile that can hit a moving aircraft carrier. And who has the aircraft carriers? Yeah, that’ll keep you up at night. Did I mention that there are 1.2 billion of them? Oh. Right. Sorry.
We should probably keep in mind that the Chinese aren’t the only Asian nation with a billion plus people at their disposal. And beyond taking over call centers and consulting companies, India has made a strong move into our national pastime with their exportation of Rinku and Dinesh as well. Ok, strong might be a bit of an overstatement since these guys haven’t even made it through the Pirates’ farm system. But you see my point.
However, if there’s one area where we should truly fear the Indians, it’s marriage. Not understanding the concept? I think this will make it very clear:
Repeat after me: I will not run away on my Indian girlfriend, I will not run away on my Indian girlfriend, I will not run away on my…..
No offense, Buccos, but Akinori Iwamura (as decent a middle infielder as he is) isn’t quite the fella you build a franchise around. Octavio Dotel? Please. And while the Yankees and Red Sox use their loud coin purses to court free agent princes yearning for a shot at a crown, the lowly Pirates do… well, they do nothing.
Chris Bootcheck, Vinnie Chulk, Tyler Yates…
So, I know it’s early and all, but if I were self-loathing enough to be a Pirates fan, I’d at least want to know that there will be something interesting to see at the ballpark in 2010 — an aged veteran past his prime… a blockbuster trade for a superstar player… those two Indian dudes named Rinku and Dinesh.
Yes, I think I’d take the two Indian dudes.
Because if Indian culture can do half as much for the Pittsburgh Pirates as it did for Jingle Bells, then the Steelers and Penguins better move on over, ‘cuz Title Town just became Pittsburghgoa.
Hate me ‘cuz you got that song stuck in your head now, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Vid link from BuzzFeed)
As we look over the baseball season and all the stories that emerged, we also start putting the pieces together, trying to see what parts of the story are most important. This process often leads to discussions of who deserves which award and even when it’s a clear-cut race, that doesn’t mean that people won’t still yell long and hard about who they think should win.
So let me jump into the fray early on and start campaigning for a couple of my choices.
Let’s start with the American League where the manager of the year is obviously Jimmy
Leyland. Despite the whole “losing the division his team led for five
months on the last day of the regular season” thing, you have to admit
that it’s pretty impressive that he was even able to remain standing
for 162 games. Seriously, his lungs are like little tar flavored
prunes. If he’s an organ donor, the only person who could use his lungs
is a researcher at the Kingsford charcoal company trying to figure out
how to pack even more carbon into every little bricquet.
And on the NL side there are many people who think that Albert Pujols should win the MVP award. And despite his team’s ignominious crash out of the first round of the playoffs, the argument is a strong one. However, let me suggest another possibility. Rinku Singh. Ok, so he technically isn’t really eligible since he didn’t even play in the majors this season. But, think of this. In a nation of nearly 1.2 billion people, he is the first one of them to win a professional baseball game. That’s one small step for a man but one giant leap for, uh, India, I guess. And as if that wasn’t enough, he’s also the only reason that most Americans even realize the Pirates still play baseball. Those are pretty strong credentials, my friends.
So as you start debating the relative merits of the possible winners of this years’ awards, take a second and consider the RSBS inspired ticket of Leyland and Singh. They may not be winners in baseball but they sure are winners in life.
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
-Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America
Whenever I listen to Sam Cooke sing “A Change is Gonna Come,” I get a little shiver up and down my spine. The same thing happened Tuesday night as President Elect Obama channelled the soul of this fellow Chicagoan in his already famous speech to supporters in Grant Park.
Without a doubt, Election Day 2008 heralded a sea change in American politics. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a realist. I don’t think that President Obama will be able to accomplish in four years all that he promised over the course of a 21 month campaign. But, hope still springs eternal. And if nothing else, he has redefined the rules of the game.
However, moving beyond the rhetoric and the fascination with this singular event in our nation’s history, what would I like to see happen?
Well, to begin with, I hope Obama was more than talk when he said during Monday Night Football that he thinks there should be a College Football Playoff. You’re 75 days away from being the most powerful man in the world. Make it happen, sir.
Yes, there are more important challenges at hand (the economy, our incoherent foreign policy, Indian pitchers) but forcing the hand of holdouts like Big Ten commissioner, James Delany, would endear Obama to even the most stubborn Republican voter. How could a Georgian not vote for a president who accomplished a playoff system after the travesty they believe befell their Bulldogs last season? And what SEC or Big 12 fan wouldn’t admit they had just a little more respect for a man who made sure their teams at least got a shot at the title every year.
However, I am a little worried. What if President Obama issues an Executive Order declaring that his hometown White Sox are to be champions of the AL Central every year that he’s in office, regardless of their record? Granted, I don’t expect the Tigers to put up much of a fight next year but what about 2 or 3 years from now, when they’ve had a chance to retool? Do I have to remind you that Ozzie Guillen is Venezuelan, just like Hugo Chavez. Coincidence? I think not.
But, for now, while the world still seems like a land of wonder and opportunity, I think I’ll just focus on what has happened and what it means.