If you were in the A’s bleacher section, and you could only choose one, would it be bacon or beer?
New Albany, IN
Jeff continuously tells me how engaging the NBA has become. According to him, it’s not just the quality of the professional game, it’s also the personalities and all the drama surrounding them. To use a direct quote, “It’s a goddamn soap opera.”
Baseball, on the other hand, is rather tame. Sure, there are historic villains like Ty Cobb and uplifting stories like Jackie Robinson and Josh Hamilton. But it’s all kind of “Touched by an Angel” while the NBA is more “The Wire.”
The perfect example of this is Jeff Francoeur and his love affair with the Oakland fans. Sure, it’s great that Francoeur has made a personal connection with the fans of another team. But is that really good for baseball? Wouldn’t it be better if Francoeur had left Oakland after coming up with the team and was greeted by a beer shower while trotting along the warning track?
That kind of rancor just doesn’t exist in baseball today. Albert Pujols left behind a city that adored him and although St. Louis fans are heart-broken, most of them still respect Albert and remember him fondly. Johnny Damon not only left the Red Sox, he went to play for their arch-enemy and shaved his beard. Boston fans were upset but they didn’t hate him with the cold intense hatred that Cleveland has for LeBron James.
Maybe it’s because baseball is played in summer and draws families out to watch games together. Maybe it’s the stir-craziness of winter and the 60 minute intensity of a basketball game that creates an aura around the game as a whole. Or maybe baseball just doesn’t have the same type of personalities you find in basketball. Let’s be honest, how often do you hear about a baseball player choking his coach or punching out a fan?
I don’t see that changing. Sure, I’d love to say that if I was one of those fans in Oakland, I’d keep the money and throw the baseball back. The fact is, though, I’d be thrilled to death. And that’s not just because being an A’s fan is even worse than being a Royals fan.
Somebody needs to spice things up a bit, give people a reason to hate. And no, I’m not talking about Milton Bradley, preschool-esque drama. I’m talking pure, LeBron James type anger. I think Francoeur has a golden opportunity to start it off, too, by taking that relationship he has built with the Oakland fans and totally misusing it. In fact, I even have the perfect recipe:
I bet no one would choose a caramel onion.
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And so in this Podcast…
Look out, y’all! The Prince of New York (aka Paul Lebowitz) is back! Joining forces with Jeff and Johanna, the best writer you’ve never heard of exercises his unfettered angst and admits to whom he’d like to strangle to death. Lots of heads roll as the guys discuss Carlos Zambrano’s temper, Vicente Padilla’s flopsweat, Mark Prior’s overgrown calves, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more… all to bring smileys to your faceys!
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*Special thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and all-around sound guru. And his Undercast podcast is wicked smaht! I actually ran into his Undercast crew the other day, as they were going to Subway, and I realized Subway couldn’t contain their bad@ssness. Anyway, their podcast is available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films. Check it out!
Recorded Thursday, August 5, 2010