Dontrelle Willis AND Chien-Ming Wang pitching this weekend? Why not Mark Prior and Pedro Martinez too?
This has been a strange week, Jake. After six months of slugging it out in Libya, Tripoli fell within just a couple days. Presidential candidates continue to eat corndogs apparently not realizing how that picture is going to turn out later. Even the earth experienced a state of upheaval as the east coast barely made it through the great quake of 2011. So why not Dontrelle Willis and Chien-Ming Wang? Why not Prior and Wood dosey-doeing at Wrigley? Heck, why not zombie Mark Fidrych going pitch-for-pitch with bionic Jim Bunning newly hyped up on dead baby power shakes?
I know what you’re thinking right now. And no, I don’t have any “proof” that a zombie can get past his love of brains in order to pitch a baseball. But I do know that a week that sees Washington DC get hit by both an earthquake and a hurricane is a week in which anything is possible.
My suggestion is that instead of focusing on zombies, baby shakes and improbable pitching returns, we turn our attention to the more important things in life. Like, what’s up with the human-kangaroo hybrids currently drenching unsuspecting pedestrians?
**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Want to know what Mr. Lung was doing the day the east coast started shaking? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting below.
The good thing about the offseason is that baseball players have nothing to do but work out and prepare themselves for the next 162-game slog to the playoffs that we call the regular season. Unfortunately, this also means they have plenty of time to call attention to all the reasons why they are baseball players and not university professors.
A prime example of this tomfoolery is Baltimore outfielder Luke Scott. In a recent interview Scott talked about his valid belief in a limited government before going all Glenn Beck while explaining his very invalid belief that our President is not American. It’s like Lenny Dykstra dispensing financial advice or Jim Bunning attaining a seat in the US Senate. Baseball prepares you for lots of things but this doesn’t include politics or finance.
Luckily there are other baseball players who tell us what we really want to know. Like Pete Rose who a few days ago shared with Philly radio listeners all they could ever hope to know about Joe DiMaggio. It’s worth listening to the entire story if for no other reason than to hear Pete Rose say “…the best way to describe Joe DiMaggio, he was a peni$ with a man hanging from it.”
Thank you Pete. This is how baseball players should be spending their downtime.
The symbols of relevance, the things that transform a simple it into that proverbial “it” are generally born all in the timing, and since the Birds on the Bat are stuck in a Philadelphia this week, so too am I.
And I don’t like it.
No, this has nothing to do with Philadelphia being a backwards place (it is). It doesn’t have anything to do with the type of fans who cheer when the other teams’ star gets hurt (they do). And of course, this does not have anything to do with that ^sswipe Jim Bunning (he really is an ^sswipe, folks).
Indeed, my suddenly emphatic aggravation with Philadelphia is rooted in one fella and one fella only. His name is Ruben. Ruben Effing Amaro (that middle name is still surreptitiously unofficial).
Why? Why such distaste for one man?
Because he gave a mighty slugger who is notoriously awful against left-handed pitching the contract extension of all contract extensions — a mesmerizing $25 million a year… for 2012 to 2016 — causing massive migraine headaches for we Cardinals fans already obsessively worrying about Albert Pujols’ future with the team.
Yeah. Ryan Howard is good. But $25 million a year? He ain’t that good.
And anyone who has ever seen the game of baseball can tell you that Albert Pujols is LIGHT YEARS better than Ryan Howard, in all aspects of the game. All… of… them.
So if Howard is worth $25 million a year, then Albert is worth $30-$32 million a year, which means that if I want A.P. to remain a Cardinal for life, I and the rest of Cardinals Nation better be ready to pay $100 for a bleacher ticket, or imagine a world where Albert isn’t our savior.
(That would kill me by the way)
So thanks a lot, Ruben. Just a week ago, deep down inside, I would have admitted to having a strange yet pleasurable affinity for the Phillies. Dick Allen. Mike Schmidt. Steve Carlton. Pete Rose. Lenny Dykstra. Darren Daulton. Just the thought of those guys grindin’ it out with the “P” on their caps kinda got me excited… and I have no idea why.
They’re dead to me.
And so are you.*
Hate me ‘cuz I give it to ya straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*You’re not really dead. This is what fancy writers like Al and I call “figure of speech”. It can be AWEsome. Like it is here.
Sports networks love days like yesterday. As the conference championships finish up, the guess work kicks into overdrive. Who will be the top seeds? Who are the first four out? Who’s on the bubble? And is this finally the year when a 16 seed takes down a 1?
I’ve got nothing to add to this debate since my knowledge of NCAA basketball this year is pretty much limited to random John Wall highlights. And it’s still a little too early to start the baseball playoffs debate so that’s going to have to wait a couple more months. However, there is another debate I feel more than qualified to weigh in on. Which baseball player, current or former, is the biggest jack-hole?
More than a few players qualify for spots in this debate. I’m sure I’ll hear from people claiming a place for AJ Pierzynski. Curt Schilling and John Rocker probably have legitimate claims, too. However, I’m going to go with three who merit special consideration. Let the debate begin!
I love the Tigers despite recent disparaging commentary about my fandom. But the fact of the matter remains, if you want to talk about all time bad guys, the Georgia Peach has to top the list. I’m pretty sure he’s not even really dead but was instead secretly recruited by satan to stalk the earth, invisibly sliding in, cleats up, attempting to destroy the shins and ACLs of unaware people all over the world.
Barry, you may have the homerun record but you’re a stinking cheat and that’s how people are going to remember you. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I would like to punch you in your over sized head.
Former Tigers appear over-represented in this short list but there’s no way to pass up the senator from Kentucky. I understand his point in saying that the senate should have found a way to pay for unemployment benefits before passing the bill. But there are good and bad times to suddenly have an attack of principle. The middle of winter when people are out of work probably counts as a bad time.
Despite these guys’ well-earned reputations, there are still legions of fans who adore them. But there are also those who want to see them get some comeuppance. Ty and Jim are already in the Hall and like it or not, Barry will probably end up there one day also. That doesn’t mean we have to sit idly by and accept it, though. Just ask these guys.
The playoff races are all but decided at this point. Baseball fans are settling in for a postseason with many of the usual suspects. There aren’t a whole lot of surprises at this point and there isn’t much reason to get angry…..or is there?
If you have become complacent due to the lack of baseball excitement in your life, boy, do I have something for you. Some dude has been using Ted Williams’ frozen head for batting practice. Seriously, man. Ted Williams. I mean, the guy might have been a bit of a kook but still, that’s no reason to be batting around his frozen head with a monkey wrench. That’s like using Warren G. Harding’s petrified liver as a hockey puck. It just isn’t done.
In a few days we can go back to worrying about playoff baseball but, for the time being, maybe you should use this downtime to write your congressman. Unless it’s Jim Bunning. If his senate career is any indication, he probably would have thrown at Williams’ head. Monkey wrench, baseball. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
It happens on a regular basis, this gathering of young talent and grizzled veterans. The two sides (with input from the people of course because, after all, this is America) pull the brightest stars from their respective firmaments, bring them together and then allow them duke it out. And it seems like each time the result plays an increasingly ambiguous role in what eventually happens in November. Yep, that’s what the nominating conventions are all about.
Oh, I’m sorry. Did you think I was talking about the All-Star game?
It’s no coincidence that baseball and politics have so much in common. The two are intertwined in American history. Even now, Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jim Bunning terrorizes opponents from his seat in the US Senate just like he used to do from his spot on the mound.
And as I was watching the Minor League All-Star game the other day, I was reminded again of how fleeting fame can be to both baseball players and politicians. Each and every one is fighting for a chance to reach the big time, to really stand out. But it’s hard to know who has what it takes.
A year ago there was talk of Mark Sanford as a possible McCain running mate and it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would be in the thick of things when the next election cycle began. Now, he’s an also-ran, an afterthought, a cautionary tale. A teary-eyed Alex Rodriguez but with no more comeback.
Or take Sarah Palin, the politician’s equivalent of Sammy Sosa. Both had talent but made it as far as they did for all the wrong reasons. Now they’re little more than whipping boys, examples of all that’s wrong with a broken system.
However, it’s better to focus on the positives at this time of year, on people like Brandon Inge and Tim Wakefield who finally got a little respect even if things didn’t play out exactly the way they might have hoped. Because, for all the ridiculousness associated with the All-Star game or with political conventions, they really are a good show and you aren’t going to find anything like ’em except in the good ol’ US of A.
Welcome back from the All-Star break!