The names were different, yes, but the destruction was equally devastating. Maybe even more.
I’m talking about the EPIC FAIL that was the 2012 NLCS, compared to the one that first stopped by heart 16 years ago. Yes, in 1996 it was Todd Stottlemyre in the role of Lance Lynn, with Andy Benes as Chris Carpenter and Donavon Osborne as Kyle “I Ain’t A Big Game Pitcher” Lohse.
It was Ozzie’s last year, Tony’s first and the first time back to the World Series since 1987 and the uncomfortable early 90’s era Redbirds… or so I thought.
Up three games to one in the best of seven series against the Atlanta Braves, the jockstraps came off a team that simply couldn’t score any runs; and instead of spending the last days of October in complete ecstasy, the 17-year old me stayed locked away in a dark closet, reading Nietzsche by a flashlight, ultimately coming back to the same redundant question: WHAT… IS… THE POINT?
I still don’t know. What is the point? Why get so worked up over something so silly? I wish I knew. And, for RSBS‘ sake, I sure hope Mr. Krause doesn’t have to find out. Not this year. So yeah, um… go Tigers.
Also, Marco Scutaro is my Toby Flenderson.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
That’s right. Davey Johnson speaks for me.
In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause. Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.
Indeed, Verlander is a beast. But the following inequality is true:
Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander
Unfortunately, the following is also true:
Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte
I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
April counts, yo! And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!
The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball. And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back! Let’s hope they are back to stay.
The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say? Not so fast. I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ’em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting. And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox. I LOVE IT!!! The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.
The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew). Onwards and upwards!
The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately? I’ve been watching them almost every day! THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks. Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party! As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.
The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good! If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.
The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league. Chipper Jones too. Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air. Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited! As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders. We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations. But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.
And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…
ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year. But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted. HOLLA!!! And buy me a drink!
Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
Yep. We’re sick of seeing his smug mug behind the plate on every pitch too. So in an effort to oust his recurring playoff cameo, we sent our RSBS interns into Angel Stadium with a mega-fortified parabolic microphone to pick up all the juicy sound bytes Mr. Boras let slip during the game.
Here’s what we heard:
“Jesus, look at A-Rod. How’d I let that guy fire me again? That oughtta be my ****ing walking wallet! Mine! My lord, those labrums! Look at those labrums! Best labrums in all of sports!”
– – –
“Forget Teixera… Matt Holliday is worth Babe Ruth like money. How much money did Babe Ruth make again? What?!? $80,000 a year was his best? F*** that, Matt Holliday is so worth Mark Teixera like money.”
– – –
“Why aren’t there gold flakes on this f***ing hot dog? Huh? Who the hell brought me this hot dog without gold f***ing flakes!?!”
– – –
“Jesus Christ, I can’t understand a thing Manny says. How do you say ‘take a goddamn shower for crying out loud’ in Spanish!? Anyone? Anyone?”
– – –
“Holy s***, Alex Rodriguez… maybe I can get teams to think Ivan Rodriguez is actually Alex Rodriguez. Quick trip to the Dominican Republic, grab some stuff from A-Rod’s cousin… shoot up Pudge and BAM! He’s lookin’ like Alex did in that hot Details shoot. Did I just say that? F*** you. Don’t look at me. Watch the game.
– – –
“Ha ha. I just remembered that Adrian Beltre deal.”
– – –
“Why does everyone hate me? Because I’m rich? Because I’m powerful? Because I look like a young Rush Limbaugh? Ha! My bowel movements are worth more than these worthless fans’ entire lives put together and run through a gilding press that I bought with my money. Where the hell is my goddamned organic vodka gimlet!?! Jesus!”
– – –
“Someone remind me to tell Kyle Lohse he has really f***ing made me look bad.”
– – –
“$tra$burg… $tra$burg… $tra$burg…”
– – –
“Jesus, if I were gay, I’d totally do Alex… ha ha, but, y’know, I’d of course make a big deal of it to the press first before opting out at the last second… then, when things calmed down a bit… I’d fire that b****.”
– – –
Now you know, folks. You aren’t surprised, are you?
Hate me ‘cuz I bring it, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I can’t eat.
I can’t sleep.
Thank you, St. Louis Cardinals.
And he was — just fine, raised from the dead and all — until he was left in a little too long and he started to show weakness: a crumbling arm. And Tony, with little else to fall back on, because Mozeliak won’t make a deal for some relief, left him in.
I, as a St. Louis Cardinal fan and devoted US American, refuse to accept this surface steaming idealogical concept that we can survive on our own, without making a deal. We’re up against the free-spending Cubs and Brewers! Get your act together, Mr. Mozeliak! You’re looking a lot like sit-on-my-^ss-while-I-read-a-story-book-GW Bush during the greatest tragedy of our time!
I wrote an editorial on my dissatisfaction with the Cardinals’ front office and submitted it to the New York Times; however, they rejected it on the basis that it wasn’t controversial enough — not enough T&A — and it had nothing to do with the Yankees, the Mets, A-Rod nor Madonna.
So much for being the world leader in print news, New York Times. For that I offer you a great big RSBS “EAT IT!”
And no, you may not hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Okay, Mr. Krause. You said your answer was simple, but in fact, it wasn’t. Spoken like a true politickin’ politician, you pulled the ‘ole ‘leave the answer up to the reader’ move. Nice job. Passing the buck has never appeared so graceful.
The right answer is: Shawn Chacon is replaceable. Blackball the guy, turn your back on him, punch him in the nuts, whatever — anyone who behaves like that doesn’t deserve the opportunity to play baseball at the Major League level and doesn’t deserve to make Major League dollar$. If I physically attacked my boss at work tomorrow I’m pretty sure word would get around (after I’m fired) to those in the Asian art world that I was bad news. No way I’d get a job in the industry again and I wouldn’t deserve it if I did.
If someone like Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols attacks his GM (neither ever would), I could entertain the idea of giving him a second chance based only on the idea that there is no replacing an Alex Rodriguez or an Albert Pujols. But Shawn Chacon? A paragon of mediocrity? No way. I can’t wait to pull into a Texas service station and have him rotate my tires.
But who cares anyway? Much more exciting things in the news today…
Like Kyle Lohse’s outstanding ESPN primetime performance against the now below-.500 Manuel-era Mets. Lohse has been an absolute stud this season. Everyone credits Dave Duncan — as they should — but Lohse must get props for putting the plan into action. Speaking of Dunc, I’m pretty sure Orel Hershiser was getting mad wood every time he brought up Dave Duncan during the ESPN telecast, which seemed to be every home inning. It’s okay. I was getting the same reaction.
And there was a lot of reaction from the sore-losing Northsiders in the Loop today. Hey, all you loser sCrUB fans who gave me hell last weekend — who refused to answer my phone calls, emails, text messages during the Southside whoopin’ ya’ll took this weekend, I got two words for you: EAT IT!
I feel better now.
And so does Nick Swisher… and Jim Thome, obviously. Don’t look now, but these two streaky hitters are getting hot and there’s no limit to the damage they can do in tandem alongside Quentin and Dye. Look out world, look out.
Now that the Windy City (Crosstown) Classic is over, and we’re all even, I think it’s time to pay homage to the absolute worst commercial in the history of Chicago. Leave it to Chevrolet to think it’d be really awesome for an old Italian and an aging Latino to perform a rap song about baseball in the Second City. Not since Puff Daddy and Mase destroyed the legendary memory of Biggie has the music world seen such an abomination of a duo.
In case you missed it, or in case you don’t live in Chicago, here it is. I’m just warning you: Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right:
The level of ineptitude at the Washington Nationals franchise astounds both lifelong and casual fans. I’m not just talking about the players and their approximately 45 errors in one inning on Tuesday night. I’m not just talking about hitting the lead-off batter with the third pitch of the game. No, it gets even worse. On top of having a totally horrifically terrible team, the Nats also have possibly the worst grounds crew in baseball. I had the opportunity to see this first hand on Tuesday night.
I had settled in to my seats in right field and prepared to eat the wonderful hotdog and chili cheese fries sitting in front of me when I noticed the biggest, darkest cloud I had ever seen rolling in. The umps decided to start the game anyway but soon the rain came in and I watched the first three innings from underneath an umbrella. Finally, the umps realized that the puddles on the field were impeding play and the lightning was getting dangerously close so they called a rain delay. I sat tight, hoping the rain would pass but it eventually got to be too much:
So, I migrated to a new perch underneath an overhang and watched as the comedy of errors unfolded.
First, it took way too long to get the tarp down. Then, they didn’t lay it out correctly. But the real fun was when they tried to get it back up after the delay finished. As the Cardinals’ starter, Kyle Lohse, said, “I don’t want to get down on the grounds crew but maybe they could tighten up a little bit next time.” Yeah, it was that bad. Somehow the process involved flipping the tarp, flipping it in another direction, flipping it once again and then folding it up. At one point the tarp was upside down in right field and it appeared that a hippie colony might be using it as a tent.
However, the crew finally got it together and made it off the field as the game started back up….which lasted about another inning until it started raining again. And the grounds crew came back out. At that point, it just wasn’t worth it anymore so I headed home.
The coda to this story is that a friend of mine was on the DC Metro a couple days later and was standing near a person who works on the grounds crew. This was particularly funny because the game was already in progress and they were just then heading in. But anyway, this person was explaining that no one ever shows up on time, if they even show up at all. They then went on to explain how they were coming in the next day to sell some homemade food to other members of the crew but they weren’t actually going to be working. I have a feeling I know what that food is. Brownies anyone?
If I were a Tiger fan (ahem, Allen Krause) I would go the airport, buy a ticket to the most remote war-torn nation, find a spot of uninhabited land, dig a hole, get in it, and light myself on fire. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t take the time to dig a hole, but I would certainly light myself on fire. At the very least I would kick down Dave Dombrowski’s door and demand he give me a refund for my hard-earned money, hopes, dreams. Because as much as the Tigers stole the headlines away from the evils of New York, Boston and L.A. during this past offseason, they sure are reneging on every dime invested. Yeah, yeah, I know. There are still 155 games remaining in the season but their lackluster performance and the sheer absence of urgency in their play proves to me that their season is pretty much in the can. I suppose they’ll get hot at some point and make a little noise but by then it will be too little too late. In essence, the 2008 Tigers are the baseball equivalent of the Clinton campaign — great resume, great talent, would probably do a decent job, but so far behind there is no possible way they can win it all. So do us all a favor and get out of the race so we can concentrate on the important stuff, like the teams that are winning.
Bench Magglio. Sit Cabrera. Weld Granderson’s hand back together. I know it’s not the popular thing to do. I know you didn’t spend 140 million dollars to sit your franchise players — but you sure didn’t spend 140 million to be the only team in the Majors without a win thus far. Tick people off. Light some fires under some tooshies. Get ’em motivated for crying out loud.
The Royals are motivated. They beat the Evil Empire today to go to 5-2 on the young season, even with the White Sox, who (ahem), destroyed the Tigers on national television Sunday night. Heck, even Baltimore’s fired up. At 6-1 they probably feel like they’re cheating their fans by actually being worth the price of admission. Allen could’ve been one of those fans, but he said he would eschew the whole Oriole scene because they were “terrible”.
Terrible is what the Tigers will be thought of when this season is over. After Boston they have to come to the Southside. Then they face the Twins, Indians and Blue Jays next week before they get somewhat of a breather with the Rangers (though I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to lose that series too). But then it’s on to play the Angels and Yankees and by the beginning of May they could possibly be worse than the 1988 Baltimore Orioles who forever live in infamy for losing their first 21 games of the season. Don’t feel bad, at least you and all your Hockeytown brethren have four months of NHL playoffs to look forward to, eh?
But who really cares about the Tigers anyway? Why am I spending so much time talking about these overpaid losers? How ’bout a proven winner, how ’bout those Cardinals! The old adage you’re only as good as your pitching still rings true (just ask the Yankees) and the Cards have been getting brilliant outing after brilliant outing to start the year. With Carp and Mulder on the DL and Matt Clement still rehabbing, it has been a pleasant surprise to see Kyle Lohse (who didn’t even have a job in the Big Leagues at the beginning of March) come through and pitch the hell out of the number two spot. Wainwright has been stellar. Wellemeyer, Thompson and Looper have all added to that super-impressive team ERA. In their win tonight, Anthony Reyes (a bonafide Tiger killer, see ’06 WS, Game 1) gave them three scoreless innings in relief, which gave Glaus enough time to drive in two big runs.
I’ve been watching these guys every day and I’ve noticed something you’ll never see in any box score: they really believe in themselves. Even if no one else does, they do. They just do. And they don’t care what anyone else says or thinks in regards to their less-than-stellar-on-paper rotation. They have spark, they have guts, and they’re having a ton of fun.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?
I feel alive again. Al, you better check to see if you still have a pulse.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.