Seriously. There is no guarantee. There is NEVER a guarantee (right, Red Sox?).
Whether you’re listening to the Worldwide Leader of Dopes or MLBN or that fat guy at the end of the bar who just won’t shut up, you’ve probably heard some variation of the following phrase regarding the AL Central:
Yeah, but the Tigers are the better team and they’re going to win the division.
Oh really? Then what are they been waiting for? Hockey season?!? It’s coming!!!
Sure the Tigers have been playing better baseball the second half, but the truth is, the White Sox have been playing championship-caliber baseball. And what is championship-caliber baseball? It’s winning in walk-off fashion even though you allowed the Mariners to come back from 5-run deficit in the top of the 9th. It’s getting gutsy performances out of nobodies like DeWayne Wise. It’s having your MVP catcher thrown out of the game only to have his backup, Tyler Flowers, be the hero. TWICE.
Verlander, Cabrera, Prince. Indeed, these are mighty names with infinite possibility.
But possibility is no match for performance. And as long as long as the White Sox keep getting more than the Tigers, then all those analysts and “experts” would do well to right their wordy ships and recognize the truth from potential.
Also, there is a White Sox fan holding a gun to my head as I write this.
And he asks that you don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Mitch said, “now, see, that there… that should’ve been a basehit.”
“The number’s lighter.”
Now that, my friends, is hilarity.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
We learned many things from Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga and the infamous Imperfect Game of June 2, 2010. We learned that throwing beer bottles at the wall may cause significant DAMAGE (to the beer bottle, possibly the wall too). We learned that styling one’s facial hair after the Pringles man cannot disguise MISTAKES. And we also learned that the best way to avoid controversy, is to AVOID controversy.
So when Philip Humber threw that wild 3-2 breaking ball two feet off the plate on Saturday and Brendan Ryan checked his swing, I felt all of the fury, all of the tension, all of the RAGE from the Imperfect Game ALL over again. Except homeplate umpire Brian Runge called it a swing, AJ Pierzynski threw the ball to first and the celebration began.
OH BUT THE CONTROVERSY!!!
In my house, I had a hard time celebrating Humber’s gem because I was already seeing the asterisk-calling headlines, I could already hear Mariners fans (all three of them) flooding the sports talk shows with vitriol. And as Brendan Ryan argued with Runge about the call, I knew it was time for me to go outside to get some fresh air before my phone started to blow up with imperfect texts.
Except… none of the above actually happened. Brendan Ryan dropped the subject. He tipped his cap and moved on. The networks — as if taken over by an Orwellian machine of greater good (a fantasy in itself) — didn’t even show the replays of Ryan’s checked swing. The Wizard said “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and I — WE ALL — gleefully obliged, even though it sorta felt dirty doing so.
We owe that guilt-stained dirty feeling to Brendan Ryan. In fact, whether it is a good thing or not, Philip Humber’s perfect game will live on unscathed by controversy because Brendan Ryan simply let it go. He shut his mouth. He went about his business. And now we are to forget.
For a guy who was labeled as “a distraction” and a “clubhouse cancer” during his St. Louis Cardinal tenure, it’s nice to see Brendan being recognized for something else. Admittedly, I never would have bet it’d be for saying… nothing.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
This Wednesday officially kicks off the 2012 MLB season and even though I’ll probably be fast asleep while it unfolds in the Far East, I’m sure the Japanese will be plenty excited about watching two awful teams compete against one another, especially since there’s at least one Suzuki per nine.
On this side of the pond, we have much, MUCH more to look forward to. In fact, I might need a good tazing before the Cardinals open up in Miami, just so I’m forced to sit down!
Here are some of the things that have me baseball-tweaking:
The GOOD Blue Jays Uniforms Are Back!
Still mesmerized by the awful logo redesign and poor color scheme that killed Joe Carter’s Blue Jays look in 2003, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the old logo back. And royal blue! No gray! Alongside the Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, I gotta say the classic Jays uni is about as smart and sleek as baseball uniforms come.
Grant Balfour Finally Gets to Be a Closer!
The 34-year old Aussie has been quietly waiting in the wings of every team he’s been on and now, finally, the Oakland A’s are giving him a shot at the closer role. I still think closers are overrated, but I like to think that maybe, if Balfour performs well in his new role, he might finally get paid what he’s worth. His numbers are fantastic and most people don’t even know who he is. I’m afraid playing in Oakland won’t help his popularity, but maybe Billy Beane will throw him another peanut. (Also, if you’re wondering, yes, Balfour’s fastball does have an Australian accent.)
I love Bobby Valentine. For myriad reasons. He’s cocky. He’s loud. His feelings get hurt. He’s controversial. He pisses off players, coaches, umpires. And he’s a goddamn baseball genius. HOLLA!!!
Good grief. The dude is gonna be FIFTY this year. FIFTY YEARS OLD. And he’s still gettin’ guys out. I absolutely love that. I love him! How can you not?!?!
And finally… you probably knew this was coming but…
WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m loud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s a hard time to be an international baseball player. Of course we all heard about what happened with Wilson Ramos in Venezuela but as harrowing as that experience may have been, at least he came out of it alive. The same can’t be said of Seattle utility outfielder Greg Halman. Not only did he get stabbed to death back home in the Netherlands, it was his own brother who did it.
That being said, it’s a tough time in general internationally. Seif al-Islam Gaddafi went from being the reformed face of the Libyan regime to war criminal faster than you can say…..well, faster than you can say Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. And if you happen to be an Iranian nuclear scientist, it’s probably a good time to up that life insurance policy payout.
Luckily there’s one guy who always knows how to land on his feet. The most interesting man in the world, not content with just having a supermodel personal photographer, also appears to be branching out into the world of medicine:
Mr. Putin, I don’t know how you do it but you always manage to amaze us. You’ve even made dentistry pleasant, if that guy’s smile is any indication.
However there’s one title that even you haven’t managed to claim yet: RSBS‘s biggest fan. There’s still time, though. And as though the title wasn’t enough, you could also win yourself a pair of Oakley’s. C’mon Mr. Putin, show us how it’s done.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff tries his darnedest to be as polite as possible during his unfettered gloating of World Championship status (Go Cards!) while Second City’s Mark Piebenga adds some level-headed awesomeness to Johanna’s outlandishness and Allen’s seasoned straight man routine. Among the topics of discussion are “the greatest game ever”, the woes of rebranding an already twice championed franchise (talkin’ to you, Marlins), Theo Fever in the Chi, b!tch t!ts and much, much more!
Now grab some Crown Royal and enjoy yo’ self!
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Recorded Saturday, November 12, 2011
At the break the Mariners were only 7.5 games back. But let’s face facts here. This team is not going to win anything this year. Even the normally untouchable Saint Ichiro has been taking flak from fans and commentators. Those 110+ win seasons remain nothing but a distant and faded memory.
But all is not lost. Maybe the Mariners don’t win but at least they can still entertain. Or at least their fans can:
Just don’t tell the kid that Michael is as dead as the Mariners’ chances at the pennant.