With just six weeks and some change left in the regular season, now is the time I lament my dear Cardinals’ now seemingly annual implosion from the top of the NL Central and into regular season obscurity. Sure we can blame Waino’s injury. We can blame Albert’s transformation from Machine to Double-Play Machine. We can blame shoddy defense and the lack of a real closer, hell, blame me, I don’t care. But in the end, there is no denying that we have lost the really important games and we’ve been real sloppy doing it.
Of course, this is the NL Central. So until the math cancels us out, there’s no need to give up just yet.
The same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays.
If the Rays were in any division other than the AL East they’d be right in the thick of contention. Unfortunately, the way things are now, even if they do collect the fourth best record in the AL, they still won’t make the playoffs as long as post season regulars New York and Boston remain above them. I find this a bit sad, for the Rays have gotten tremendous pitching all season long and they’ve found a way to win without high-priced free agent flops Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.
But no one’s talking about the Rays. And no one will.
Hm… reminds me of the one-way delusional street commonly referred to as the Republican Party.
In the case of the Rays, at least they’ll get another shot next year. Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is stuck in a great big clogged up tube of crazy, and the exit is nowhere to be found.
Although Sunday afternoon may be the domain of sports fanatics, Sunday morning holds the same mystique for fans of the political arena. The one true king, Tim Russert, is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on in the princelings that sprung up around him. However, just like fierce competition brings out the best in two opposing teams, the Sunday morning news shows are only as good as the discussion between the host and his guest.
In that respect, this past weekend brought us an epic showdown in the Sunday morning news show realm.
The piece is long. It’s 24 minutes long, in fact, but it’s worth watching every moment. Here’s a small taste:
Sure, there are no big plays, no cheerleaders but there are moments in the interview that are the intellectual equivalent of a bone-jarring tackle or tape-measure home run. It’s why I look forward to Sundays.
I try to watch Jon Stewart as much as possible since he seems to be the only person who realizes how bat-sh!t crazy Michele Bachmann truly is. She’s like Sarah Palin with less brains and less media savvy. Yeah, scary.
But I also like Stewart because he does a great job of getting his comic friends to drop by and ostensibly promote the shows they’re working on. For instance, Denis Leary is a regular guest and just the other week I saw both Chris Rock and Adam Sandler on the show together. It’s a good thing when you can count guys like that among your friends and when they actually return your phone calls. Yeah, Jeff. I’m talking to you. Ever answer your phone there big guy?
Sorry. Back to the point. The thing of it is, though, that Stewart and his guests rarely talk about the show or movie they’ve stopped by to promote. They make an attempt but then it goes out the window and it’s more like watching a conversation between two old friends and you were lucky enough to be there. Like a recent episode when Louis C. K. stopped by to talk about his new show. They showed a clip, it was funny but then most of the conversation was about other random stuff.
But when I finally saw a little bit more about Louis’ show, I realized that I may have missed out on something spectacular. See if you catch it at the end of this clip………
……..Yeah, Jamie Moyer! Dishing up the homerun like it’s going out of style. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have the same effect if I tried it.
Have any financial advice for Lenny Dykstra? LOL.
Ft. Wayne, IN
You know Mick, that’s a really good question. And to tell you the truth, yeah, I do have some advice for Lenny. But before we get to that, let me point something out. You would have to be crazy to take any kind of financial advice from us so who in their right mind gets it from a guy like Lenny Dykstra? That’s like taking diet advice from John Kruk.
But, despite the sad truth in that statement, Lenny thought he heard a voice crying out for advice a couple years ago and answered by launching a magazine. Not just any magazine, either. Seemingly inspired by Ice Cube’s 1998 film classic, Dykstra decided to call his rag “The Player’s Club,” an interesting name for a magazine purporting to dispense financial advice to professional athletes.
So, how did that work out? Let’s turn to AdWeek for an initial assessment: “Heading into a recession, with print advertising nearly universally in the toilet, it’s an interesting time to start a magazine.” Hm, that doesn’t sound promising.
But hey, who knows. Maybe it got off to a fast start and then picked up steam. What do you think, Forbes? “By the time the first issue hit clubhouses and locker rooms, Dykstra was already in litigation with Doubledown, suing for breach of contract after the company withheld the second issue for lack of payments.” Oh boy. That doesn’t sound good.
It’s still possible that it got better after a rocky start, right? Take it away, Deadspin: “Dykstra recently used his mother’s credit card to charge $23,000 to order to charter a plane ride back to his home in California from Cleveland. She has not been paid back.” Ouch, Lenny. Your own mother?
But even this isn’t enough for Mr. Dykstra. There’s no way that this is his fault. Not the magazine, not his repossessed private jet. And definitely not his default on a 17.4 million dollar loan used to purchase Wayne Gretzky’s house.
How about if we let Jon Stewart explain the situation a little further:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Lenny Dykstra’s Financial Career|
I think that pretty much sums it up. So, here’s my advice to Lenny. Stop. Just stop. And for the love of god, man, pay your freakin’ mother back.
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With the imminent inception of the second round of baseball’s postseason, this marks our last opportunity to mourn the loss of the Cubs. Oops. That was a typo. What I meant to say was “mock the loss of the Cubs.” And for snarky mockery, there’s no better place to go than the deep, deep well that is Jon Stewart and the Daily Show.
I suppose I should feel bad for the Cubs in some way. Their loss only highlights what has become a cancer in both baseball and politics: the triumph of mediocrity.
Now, I’m not a strict constructionist when it comes to baseball and I don’t see any need for us to go back to the good ol’ days. But I do think there is something to be said for a time when the best team from each league met in the World Series. Do we really want to see the 8th best team in the NL, coming out of what is arguably the worst division in baseball, playing for a trip to the World Series? Probably not but there also weren’t many people who enjoyed watching the subpar Cardinals organization that won the World Series in 2006. Even this year’s Dodgers have one more win than that St. Louis team.
Mediocrity refuses to limit itself to our baseball stadiums, though. Recently it spilled into our political system with the rise of the charming and completely unqualified first-term governor from Alaska. Honestly, we expect these sort of shenanigans from the Democrats but the GOP? You’re the party of Lincoln, for chrissakes. Grading on a curve is fine in high school but we shouldn’t be setting the bar for a potential VP to the level where being able to complete a sentence is seen as an accomplishment.
It’s possible that I’m just a grumpy old man and really need to let this whole thing go. But as you and I both know, it’s not bloody likely. Call me an elitist, call me a snob but I think the greatest country in the world deserves to have the greatest leaders in the world. And that’s just as true on the baseball diamond as it is in the town square.
The Lovable Losers, while accurately representing at least one of those monikers, managed to lose three straight NLDS games for the second year in a row. As good a team as they were on paper and throughout the season, is it safe to say that the “curse of the billy goat” is indeed a real phenomenon?
I’ve seen and heard some pretty crazy things in my time. I have a friend who swears on his life that he saw the ghosts of three children in his room one night while we were both living in Africa. Personally, I had a snake in my house one day that a neighbor told me was the result of a curse. And you know what? I don’t doubt either one of those things. But if you try to tell me that the Cubs lost because of some long dead cloven-hoofed animal, well, I’ve got a bridge up in Brooklyn I wouldn’t mind selling you.
The fact of the matter is, the Cubs just stunk. They couldn’t field the ball. They couldn’t hit. And they definitely couldn’t score runs. The real problem with the Cubs was not a curse. It was hubris. As you have mentioned several times, including the other day, the Cubs, along with the whole north side of Chicago, were sure that this was their year. It had been 100 years and they had the best team in the NL. What could possibly stand in their way? It was their turn, right? But, the Cubs suffered the same fate as Hillary Clinton. Entitlement is no substitute for elbow grease as both Mrs. Clinton and the Cubs discovered.
I want to get back to the idea of curses, though. Athletes and sports fans tend to be a superstitious lot and so the notion of a curse makes perfect sense in that context. Hell, I’ve been a Lions fan for years and if any team’s fans have the right to believe they’re cursed, the Lions’ sure do. But really, the Lions are just a terrible team with poor management. Curses are the easy way out.
Believing in curses is like believing in god. If it’s what gets you through the day and keeps you from chopping up someone on a bus, go for it. But the idea of some guy cursing a team because he couldn’t watch a game with his goat 60 years ago makes only slightly more sense than the idea of the entire world being made in 6 days, six thousand years ago by some omnipotent being with a split-personality disorder. Again, if you buy that I’m willing to throw in that bridge for only a few dollars more.
So here’s a short but sweet answer to your question: The Cubs lost because of hubris and curses are the “opiate” of the fans. And yes, it really is that simple.
Now that Gov. Palin has thrown her hat in the ring, the entire political calculus has changed. For instance, time honored aphorisms like “Lipstick on a pig” are no longer valid because apparently Ms. Palin reclaimed the word “lipstick” for woman governors everywhere with her speech last week. So, in honor of Ms. Palin’s inanity, I want to propose a few more phrases that should be reclaimed.
First off, I don’t think that ESPN sportscasters should be allowed to say “RBIs” as word (i.e. ribbies) anymore. Frankly, I find it offensive to the wonderful American fast food chain, Arby’s. They have been fighting a losing battle for years now and it’s time we stand up for them. C’mon. This is America and in my America, we cheer for the underdog.
In a similar vein, “change” has now ceased to mean anything at all. (Brief aside: the fact that the same word can be used in two completely different ways has been put to good use in some more intellectual circles. I love homophones.) When the status quo becomes “change,” the word has obviously been redefined in some way. It’s like saying the 2000 Yankees represented a change from the 1998 and 1999 Yankees. Maybe a few of the faces were different but it was the same old Evil Empire.
Here’s the thing, though. If you’re going to ding Sen. Obama on the lipstick comment, shouldn’t you really be getting him for the stinky fish analogy that followed? I mean, that one is really offensive, right? Or maybe it’s just a bunch of pundits and politicians using a situation to their advantage as they are wont to do. Luckily, I’m sure we never have to worry about Sen. McCain or Gov. Palin doing something like that. Right?
Oh. Right. Nevermind.
You know what I wouldn’t mind seeing, though? Lipstick on Jason Giambi. That would go great with the mustache.