Everyone has their own definition of class. It might be what you do, it might be how it’s done. But like the Supreme Court and porn, we know it when we see it.
Over here at RSBS we also know class and when we see it, we like to point it out. That being said, sometimes a counterfactual can help further refine the boundaries of the definition. For instance, this is not class:
…nor is his paint-huffing habit.
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s move on to some guys who don’t turn to inhaling toxic fumes when the situation gets tough.
Sure, we gave Riggleman a shout-out last week but there’s no rule that says we can’t do it twice, right? I suppose it’s possible that going out and getting drinks while hitting on young ladies right after resigning from a job may not be your idea of class but at RSBS we not only wholeheartedly support his actions, we also kind of hope to follow suit one of these days.
RSBS might be a little biased since Mr. Winfield gave us the opportunity to sit down with him in the past but in our minds there’s no denying that the guy is a class act. Apparently Dave is aware of this fact, too, or at least his PR guys seem to be. While you might think that advertising your class would preclude you from having class, Winfield is the exception to the rule. The purple tuxedo don’t lie.
Normally when people say that they want their funeral to be a big party, they’re lying through the hole in their teeth. But when David Hart said it, he not only meant it, he also made it happen. I have a feeling Vegas is never going to be the same after his buddies blow through $160k. David Hart, it’s a shame to award a prize posthumously but you win the RSBS class act of the year.
I don’t regret the fact that baseball has become commercial. For any business to survive, it has to figure out how to grow revenue and appeal to new customers. MLB has done that by building fan friendly stadiums that allow fans to see what’s going on and by letting fans decide what they want to get out of their day at the park.
However, there’s something to be said for the throwbacks, the guys who hold to a specific baseball morality that won’t allow them to compromise. My friend, Jeff, is one of those guys, someone who would like to see the Houston Astros play in wool uniforms during the middle of July and still laments the passing of the dead-ball era. Jim Riggleman is another one of those guys.
See, Jim is probably a mediocre MLB manager at best but he has managed to keep the Nats in the race much longer than any of his predecessors. On top of that, he’s doing it without Strasburg and the other high priced talent the Nationals have picked up recently. But apparently that wasn’t enough to assure his future with the team and when his ultimatum went unanswered, he did what any throwback would do. He mixed his metaphors while sticking to his guns and getting the hell out of Dodge.
Even that wasn’t enough for Riggleman. No, not only did he refuse to get on the team bus last week, he instead went out, got himself a drink and hit on some young ladies.
Well played, sir. I think even Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle could be proud of that. I can assure you that Jeff is.
If you had to choose any manager in MLB today who might follow Jim Riggleman’s example and tell his GM to shove it, who would it be and how do you think they’d do it?
Honestly, Seth, I still can’t believe Riggleman had the gall to tell Rizzo to shove it! I mean, I knew Jim walked and talked like a boss… but I didn’t know he had Mt. Everest sized cojones! Somebody get that man a beer! And a whisky chaser!
Though what Riggleman did, as we probably all know by now, doesn’t really do him much good if he plans to continue managing in professional baseball. There aren’t too many baseball folks who can shake the acidic label of being a quitter (see Hanley Ramirez) and a 58 year old yes-man certainly isn’t one of them. Then again, dude knew he wasn’t the man in D.C., so I can’t blame him for not wanting to be
Ken Macha a lame duck; if it were me though, I woulda kept my mouth shut, got my paycheck, then requested a bunch of exotic (and expensive) fare for my clubhouse spread.
And because this Riggleman show has been so bizarre, I really cannot see it happening again anytime soon. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are bad GMs and porous front offices, but I don’t think any of them would cause a manager to commit career suicide.
Of course, that could all change if someone would just give poor Wally Backman another chance.
Alcohol abuse, short temper, bankruptcy, tax evasion… These are all things that come to mind when Backman’s name is brought up, not to mention the fact that the dude is good friends with Lenny Dykstra — not quite a paragon of amicability. I could imagine a half soused Wally Backman stumbling into GM XYZ’s office, shirt half untucked, bbq sauce stains above the letters, hat scrunched up in one hand, Keystone Light in the other, mumbling: “Pick up my option, dammit. Or I quit.”
GM XYZ sits back in his chair, loosens his tie and exhales as he examines the sad, disheveled remains of a World Series champion and says: “You’re fired.”
Why didn’t Rizzo just fire Riggleman again?
Hate me ‘cuz I refuse to resign, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010