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.
Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.
Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.
Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person. I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy. But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.
So here ya go. Let the judging begin!
Yankees fans, I’m judging you. You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?! When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”. And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.
Mitt Romney, I’m judging you. Come on, dude. How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!? Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?
National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you. Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?! Good grief! Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime? You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal. Just ask Whitney Houston.
Donald Trump, I’m judging you. The birther thing, well, I can see past that. But your hair. Seriously. It’s not funny anymore. It’s disturbing. I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.
And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…
MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you. If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size. Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s Thursday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I’m a stubborn person. When I get an idea in my head, I latch on and I won’t let it go until I know for sure that it isn’t going to work. This has led to occasional successes in my life but has also ended in disaster. A two and a half year relationship that should have ended at six months is a prime example.
For all my mistakes, at least I can say that I’m not as bad as MLB and their unwillingness to give up on Milton Bradley. There’s no denying that he’s a talented athlete and could have been something special. Just like any awful relationship, though, managers focused on the flickers of brilliance and ignored all the warning signs.
Maybe that has finally come to a close. When the Mariners ended their MB experiment and designated him for assignment, we may have witnessed the end of an era. At the same time, I’m sure most baseball fans experienced the subconscious reaction, “God, I hope my team doesn’t decide to be the next to take a ride on the Milton-go-round.” After enough failed attempts trying to help Bradley get his head right, common sense says there aren’t going to be any other takers.
But you never know. Kyle Farnsworth has a career and continues to achieve new milestones in mediocrity every year. For instance, just the other day Prince Sobs-a-lot issued the first walk-off walk of his storied career. I know, right? I’m as surprised as you are.
Most of Farnsworth’s damage comes from his ability to put runners in scoring position (and then push them across) and the danger that his press-conference tears will leave water-marked tables. Bradley, meanwhile, has proven himself to be nothing less than a clubhouse cancer. Let’s hope he stays in remission.
RSBS will be taking a break for the next few days as one of the sites where we post gets some upgrades. In the meantime, enjoy this video celebrating the brilliance of Will Ferrell:
-Jeff and Allen
After a mere two episodes that had the same effect as a handful of Ambien chased by a fifth of Knob Creek, Paul Reiser’s triumphant(?) return to network television lasted about as long as a Milton Bradley welcome party.
I guess this is undeniable truth that US America just isn’t mad about you, Mr. Reiser (*RIMSHOT*).
But don’t worry, Paul, there are plenty of folks out there who are WAY WORSE than you. And of course, the RSBS interns have been working furiously to bring you the shortlist. Shall we?
After signing a $43.5 million deal to be the ignition in an otherwise defunct offense, it only seems fitting that the fate of the Mariners took another giant step backwards as Mr. Figgins continues to be the only thing that smells worse than Pike’s Place fish market. Last year he topped off his .259 batting average with a debilitating case of bad attitude. This year, he seems to be on track for more of the same, only, Wakamatsu ain’t there to box the boy’s ears. Therefore, Chone is definitely worse than Paul Reiser.
Since he is the CEO of the McDonald’s Corporation, I think it’s important that we call out Jim Skinner and everything his company stands for: taking advantage of the masses’ inferior intellect. I don’t care what you do to the labeling, the packaging, etc., “food” that comes from McDonald’s is not f***ing good for you. In fact, it’s killing you… it’s killing you and the rest of US America. When I first swore off fast food (about 7 years ago) I was surprised at how my body reacted by feeling good most of the time. After a year of zero Big Macs, I decided to give it another try. I had a Big Mac, large fry and a Coke. An hour later, I threw up… from both ends. That was my body’s way of saying STOP THE INSANITY. I did and I’ve never felt better.
Also, people are using Jim’s restaurant as a place to throw down. Not cool. So Jim is definitely worse than Paul Reiser.
2010 Jason Bay
This lucky (and smart) Canadian managed to work out a $73 million five-year deal with the Mets after the 2009 season. He followed that trip to the bank by hitting 6 homeruns in 95 games, before he got hurt and missed the rest of the season.
He was bad. So bad that he is STILL worse than Paul Reiser.
NATO wants him dead. That doesn’t make him bad, that makes him SOOP-UH BAD… or, WORSE than Paul Reiser.
I really hate to pick on the Mets here, but, well, the Mets have done a lot of dumb things in recent years… like, y’know, pay Oliver Perez $12 million a year to throw baseballs like my athletically-challenged and oft persnickety colleague, Mr. Krause throws softballs.
Not very good.
Of course, Ollie’s situation comes in way WORSE than Paul Reiser’s, because Ollie is STILL getting $12 million from the Mets this year, even though he’s not on the team.
All of the above are bad. In fact, all of the above are really bad.
But they are also UNANIMOUSLY rich beyond my Joe Plumber @$$, so… the moral of the story, once again, is be bad. Get paid.
Congrats on making the team, Paul Reiser.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s legal, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.