Lot of talk about weiners, Weiners and Weiner’s weiner the past couple weeks. This is nothing new in the sports universe, though, especially in the NFL. However, which MLB player do you think will most likely find himself involved in some sort of similar scandal?
Big Rapids, MI
As is the case with most famous weiner (and Weiner) related exposés, the following will certainly be an exercise in self-restraint, as I think we all know the immense public propensity to go for the easy male-member joke. But the easiest joke here, as far as I can tell, is that the Rep. Anthony Weiner scandal is even a scandal at all!
I am not saying we should give the guy a medal of honor or anything, but, what exactly did he do to warrant a public scandal of such magnitude? So he donned a swaggering internet persona and talked dirty to some chicks online… and then didn’t have sexual relations with any of them? Um, okay, if this illegal then somebody come lock my @$$ up!!!
Yes, Rep. Weiner is a creepazoid. So what? Aren’t most politicians? From my vantage point, Weiner didn’t break any laws. He didn’t physically hurt anyone. He is only guilty of being stupid — of being aloof and naive a la John Edwards to mistakenly think the interwebs are a completely private domain and that interacting with folks in a lewd manner outside of his marriage would never be revealed by the parties involved.
Like our future 45th president alludes, the online lust-quest has become common for modern man; and this “scandal” is really something that should be left between Rep. Weiner and his wife. Unless he’s Marv Albert-ing these women or wasting tax dollars on callgirls, I don’t see how any of this is of public interest.
But since you asked, Eric, what MLB player would most likely find himself in the same Weinerific situation, I gotta say, right now, it would have to be Adam Dunn.
I mean, come on… SOMETHING is eating at the Big Donkey and it ain’t Ozzie Guillen! When a perennial homerun monster like Dunn suddenly lives under the Mendoza line with only a handful of bombs while playing his home games at launching-pad Sox Park, and it’s mid-June, something ain’t right.
Hmm… you thought I was gonna say A-Rod, didn’t ya? Well, A-Rod probably does take lewd photos of his “attributes” with intentions of sending them out to virtual partners; however, I think his tenacious love for himself would force him to keep such images for his eyes only.
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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On the left wing, a grand jury formally indicted John Edwards for illegal campaign contributions among other things. Now, if you have somehow forgotten, this is all connected to the child that Edwards fathered while cheating on his cancer victim wife. As bad as that may be on a moral level, on an intelligence level it went even lower because he continued to run for the nomination during all of this somehow believing that no one would ever find out. I’m not sure if that counts as hubris or just plain, old-fashioned stupidity.
Luckily, the right wing continues to support gaffe-making machine and friend-of-mediocrity-everywhere, Sarah Palin, in what we can only hope is a Steven Colbert inspired humorous campaign for the presidency. Let’s roll the tape:
Seriously? I’m pretty sure that “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” is de rigueur for all schoolchildren. On the bright side, Palin’s newest adventure in creatively reinventing history allowed for this quip from Politico’s Ben Smith: “Palin makes Bachmann look like Longfellow.”
I’m sure there’s plenty more to come from both sides since we’re only a week into June of 2011 and the elections don’t take place until the end of 2012. It’s also safe to assume that we’ll be bringing it all your way, occasionally with a little baseball flavor.
For instance, take Elizabeth Edwards. There’s no denying that her battle against breast cancer was an inspiration. That it finally took her life after seemingly being fought into remission made the story tragic. Add in the way she was treated by her husband and the tragedy takes on entirely new proportions.
In contrast, if you read the stories associated with John Edwards’ two presidential campaigns, Mrs. Edwards doesn’t come out looking so nice. By all accounts she was a fire-breathing bag of hate and pity the fool who looked at her the wrong way or decided to disagree with her. Although this wasn’t the public face she chose to show, it became the new paradigm following the publication of these stories.
I guess that in my analysis, I’d call Mrs. Edwards the Gary Sheffield of politics. There’s no denying that she added something special to the team. She was pitch perfect under the lights and seemed to be nothing but an asset. But off the field, when no one was around except for the team, the issues came out and affected those around her. Yeah, sounds a lot like Sheff to me.
Like Sheff, she wound up facing a fair amount of controversy and having her tactics and decisions called into question. The difference is that Sheffield still has a chance to redefine his paradigm. Hopefully for him, he won’t have to wait for a tragic death to re-contextualize his life.
Don’t quite understand VORP? UZR? PECOTA?
But the baseball basics? I thought everyone knew them.
I was wrong.
And rightly so. Not everyone’s interests align with mine; I shouldn’t look down on those who eschew the grandest game on earth (feel sorry for them, yes; patronize them? No.). Of course, I know this — NOW — after being way out of the loop on a conversation revolving around physics and something called… AFV.
“What is this curious AFV?” I kept asking myself as the cognoscenti carried on, oblivious to my poorly hidden obliviousness. The conversation dipped and rolled, skipped and scooted… “the air to ground ratio” this and “the hyperbolic arc” that.
Later, when I was all alone, I googled this curious AFV, only to find out that I’m a windmill-chasin’ idiot. Because AFV stands for America’s Funniest Videos.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
The lesson is clear: know your acronyms. And since we live right in the middle of technocracy’s jumbled white noise, we’d all do ourselves a favor by learning the hard ones. So, of course, the RSBS interns got to work on providing you, dear readers, with three of the most up-to-date acronyms you’ll ever find:
(Heterosexual Life Partner)
My HLP is Albert Pujols. He doesn’t know this (yet), but he is. He will know sooner if the GD cops would stop throwing this GD order of protection in my face. Uh… it’s getting in the way of my DESTINY*, Mr. Police MAN.
(Lou Intending to Actually Retire)
Admittedly, this is an odd acronym as it only pertains to people named Lou who hold whoop-dee-doo press conferences with the idea of hanging it up for good. And, considering the nature of our thought processes, it requires us to juxtapose the truth with a LIAR. If you’re confused, it’s okay. You should be. Lou Piniella intends to be in the Bobby Valentine and Buck Showalter retirement camp: waiting for a bigger, better paycheck.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Determined Effort to Stalk Top Infielders Nightly, Yearly)
Even Clinton, despite his somewhat suspect taste in women, knew how to play the game. Cigars in the Oval Office, blue dresses. The man had been perfecting the craft with Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers and there was no way Monica had a chance against him.
But now? John Edwards cheats on his cancer-stricken wife, gets the lady pregnant and videotapes it. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he still had the balls to think he could make it through the campaign without anyone finding out.
And if we can believe recent reports, it seems that boring old Al Gore might be the worst of the lot. It’s not just that he hid it all along while subjecting us to that interminable kiss with Tipper. It also appears that he plain and simple has no game. Let’s look in on a Chinese animated recreation of the events in Oregon on the night of October 24, 2006:
Yep, real classy, Al. And when a lady compares you to a sex-crazed poodle, that’s usually not a compliment. Even if I have been known to take it that way.
Fear not, dear readers, for the scare huckin’ shadow casting done by my chiding and oft misleading colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, is nothing more than seductive pomp and circumstance meant to dissuade you from the truth! Sure, sure… the Republicans are transitioning into the high profile sex game. So what? It’s about time they join the proverbial party (DNC approved or not) because to be honest, the political sex scene could use some old spice (pun intended). But there is no way in Congressional hell (it’s a lot like Ames, IA only less corn) that the Republicans are stealing the show.
And that’s the thing. Ya see, the Democrats are still gettin’ their sexy on, it’s just that we’ve seen so much of it in recent years that it’s simply boring to us now (think John “You Are the Father” Edwards). I mean, New York Congressman Eric Massa is doing so many inappropriate things to so many different people that the best thing for him right now would probably be to grab an adult magazine and cool out it in a truck stop restroom for a few days… wait. No. That’s a bad idea. Bad, bad, bad idea.
But, seriously, if all these politicians just learned to take out their “frustrations” on themselves (privately, of course) rather than act out on others, maybe our government would be just a little more productive. We live in the 21st century, people. All kinds of new, innovative stuff exists for no other reason than to get us those happy endings! So what if we all go blind… now the goods come in braille! What do we need our eyes for!?!? Eh!?!?
Whew. Okay. That may have been the longest introduction to a main point ever, but it had to be done. I have no regrets.
And in case you are wondering what the actual point of this piece is, well, it is simply to inform you that a braille book on the history of the Chicago Cubs franchise is also in the works. The rumored list price is nowhere near the 150 Pounds Sterling it will cost you to get one of those braille p0rno books, but that is simply because the Cubs history book consists of just… one… letter:
Hate me ‘cuz I gitz long-winded, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s amazing to me how creative people can be when trying to avoid admitting something embarrassing. Like Bill Clinton’s infamous definition of “is” or A-Rod’s original interview with Katie Couric, there are little embellishments, and large ones as well, that seem incredibly obvious in retrospect.
However, what I find even more telling is the response when they’re finally called out and forced to tell the truth. Maybe it’s a short statement issued over a weekend before disappearing for a week (or ten) like John Edwards. Or maybe it’s a couple lawyers finally letting slip that Sammy Sosa was juicing, something most of us had probably already figured out
But today brought around one of my favorites. The Republican paragon of virtue congressman admitting to an extra-marital affair. I mean, we expect this sort of thing from the Democrats. They are the party of Kennedy after all. But the Republicans? How sad is it when the titular head of the Democrats, Barack Obama, is a once married family man while the Republican leadership is full of guys like Newt Gingrich and John McCain who have multiple marriages under their belts, some of which came out of less than squeaky clean circumstances.
It is possible that there’s an upside to all this fudging and creativity, though. If we could just get our leaders to apply some of that creativity to the economy, maybe they could turn it around. What’s that you say? They already tried that and it didn’t work? Well, I guess we could just stuff our money in a mattress. That always seems to work.
Clearly established is the fact that perhaps nothing is what it seems these days. From Alex Rodriguez gallivanting around the Dominican streets with his cousin scoring steroid sauce because he was “young and stupid” to Larry Craig simply taking a timeout in an airport restroom because he needed to “relax”, we, as US Americans, would be doing ourselves and our country a great disservice by not postulating the underlying motives and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that make up our anti-apotheoses of leadership.
Guilty until proven innocent?
Why not? This is America after all. We do what we want, when we want (see Iraq, Guantanamo, “W” for more information).
Baseball, democracy, Erin Andrews being all hot and sexy… these are as astutely American as a Paris Hilton reality television show; so it should be no surprise when they eventually fall victim to our insatiable desire for dirt.
So why not celebrate the fecundity of our backpage headliners… bring them together, assemble a stellar nine to barnstorm the backwoods, villages and small towns of this great nation?
Well, I have thought about it and I am all for it and I am doing something about it, damnit.
Marion Barry — CF
At the top of the lineup we need speed; and who better to give us speed than a bonafide crackhead? Believe me, folks, Barry will get on base — perhaps even manage to free-base — all the while giving pitchers (and Washingtonians) nightmares better fit for an episode of The Wire.
Eliot Spitzer — 2B
He’s scrappy, he’s fast, he leaves his socks on. With a name like Spitzer (see Roberto Alomar), Eliot’s the guy I want at second base. As patient in the number two hole (wink, wink) as he was hypocritical during his gubernatorial reign, Eliot is a surefire shot taker whom I definitely want on my team because he knows where to buy all the hot chicks.
Kwame Kilpatrick — 1B
The bigger, the fatter, the sloppier the man, the better the first baseman. Well, at least that is how they do things in Detroit. And Kwame, though once a sharp dresser, now looks a bit haggard after those 99 days in jail. The fact is, defensively liable players often end up at first base. On the plus side, Kwame is a big target and he has the agile hands of a 14 year-old text messaging champion.
Bill Clinton — 3B
No one knows his way around third base better than Slick Willy. Besides, this position requires a bit of flash peppered with a sprig of charm… not to mention an oh-so-faint cheating character. Of course, there are doubts that Clinton could handle the duties of a clean-up man (refer to the stained blue dress) but if we know anything, we know that Bubba is always full of surprises.
John Edwards — SS
Protect a cheater with a cheater: enter John Edwards.
Rod Blagojevich — DH
Now here’s a guy who comes to play, pays to play, forces others to pay to play, whatever; he’s a player. Widely known as a bit of a primper, Blago manages to fill the flashy DH role better than most. His only drawback: if you take him out of the game he will continue to run his idiot mouth.
Roland Burris — RF
Admittedly, the only reason Roland has a spot on this squad is because he’s in tight with the DH; but by now we all know it didn’t take long for Burris to wield his own personal bat of corruption and make a stately name for himself. And let’s face it: Burris has quick feet, able to change his story faster than you can say Chicago Democratic Machine.
George Ryan — LF
Bringing up the rear of our team’s famed corrupt Illinois politician trifecta (CITP) is the always forlorn oft uninteresting George Ryan. He’s fat. He’s slow. He’s a left fielder. But the man knows how to sell contracts, licenses and leases on behalf of his team, so it’s always good to have a guy who can get things when you’re on the road half the season.
Dick Cheney — C
The scowling shot-caller. The calloused captain. The man who hides behind a mask. With the entire field in front of him and myriad opportunities to talk s*** behind people’s backs, it is quite evident that Cheney was born to catch. More fierce than a misguided, misled, mishandled bombardier, he’ll chat the opposing hitter up as much as possible, flashing his hunting rifle from time to time to gain a psychological edge. Arrrrggghhh.
Larry Craig — P
Bringing up the rear, ahem, Larry Craig is one of those subversive anomalies of the baseball-politico reality. Sure, he can pitch; but he can catch too, which makes him all the more valuable to a team going long and far down that dirt road called destiny.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If you are one to eschew the daily fear mongering and perpetual bad news infecting our world today, then I highly recommend you avoid reading the Chicago Tribune first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, for me, the Tribune has become that thing I love to hate. My self-inflicted aggravation is just one of the many results.
But today, I came across a titillating article by Stacy St. Clair which boasted and celebrated the harmony, the togetherness, the complete reciprocal adoration between Barack and Michelle Obama — our nation’s first couple. Reading it made me feel good.
As the day went on, news broke of Alex Rodriguez — our collective fallen hero — and his stunning confession of guilt regarding his usage of banned performance enhancing drugs in 2003. The image of Rodriguez discussing the issue with Peter Gammons flickered on my computer screen. I was overwhelmed with sadness.
My thoughts immediately went back to the Obama article and I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is anything what it seems anymore?
Alex Rodriguez put on a great front. Despite Jose Canseco’s self-righteous smear campaign and associated agenda, I never once questioned Rodriguez’s proclaimed innocence. At no time did I suspect Rodriguez to be tainted in even the slightest of ways, for A-Rod was our hero. He was the one targeted with pulling us out of the steroid era forever. He was the one endowed with replacing Bonds as the all-time homerun king. He was the one who seemed like the most talented, most gifted, most touted ballplayer I have ever witnessed play the game.
What you see is not always what you get.
John Edwards seemed like a family man.
Pete Rose seemed like the consummate all-American baseballer.
Eliot Spitzer seemed like a hard-nosed crime-stopper.
The Wizard of Oz seemed like an all-powerful wizard.
And it turns out they were all just… like… us:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Much like Ayn Rand posed the immortal question “Who is John Galt” in “Atlas Shrugged,” politicos across the United States have been asking “Who is Joe Six-Pack” ever since the governor from Alaska (and Ayn Rand’s intellectual red-headed step-child) popped on to the scene.
Well, we here at RSBS have some good news. We now know who Joe Six-Pack is and even have video evidence of his heroics. That’s right. Matt Stairs is this previously unidentified individual. Seriously, look at the guy. How is he a baseball player? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy before working down at the mill with John Edwards’ father.
Now, I know people say these kinds of things about baseball players all the time and talk about their weight and all that. But Matt Stairs is the most ordinary looking person I’ve ever seen. The best part of last night’s pinch-hit home run was when the camera followed him into the dugout and focused on his bald head as he changed from the batting helmet back to his cap. Here’s the thing. If I ran into him at my local CVS I wouldn’t say, “Hey, that’s Matt Stairs.” No, I’d wonder what this denizen of the fly-over states was doing in my posh DC drugstore.
But, this is all part of what makes baseball the American pastime. Ordinary looking guys like Matt Stairs can be heroes into their 40’s and we can imagine ourselves in their place. It’s the sporting equivalent of p0rn. And Joe Six-Pack, just like p0rn, is one of those things you know when you see.