Tagged: Mark McGwire

Terra Infirma

haiti_earthquake.jpgThis has been a week of upheaval in both the physical and existential sense of the word.  We continue to be bombarded by images of Haiti and even today a new quake brought new fear.  And in the US, both minor and major tremors shook us as McGwire admitted what we had always suspected and the Democrats lost what was supposed to be a sure thing.

In times of upheaval people search for solidity, for something they can cling to as their world is dashed to pieces.  For Haitians this is an ongoing search as even their government and their public services have fallen apart.  And for baseball fans, even though we knew what McGwire was up to, we go back to the basics and try to rediscover again why we love this game.

For the Democrats, they are in much the same spot as the Haitians.  I remember standing on the lawn between the capitol and the Washington Monument a year ago as President Obama gave his historic inauguration speech.  But a year later his star power has faded to the point that a virtual unknown was able to take the seat held by Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion, for nearly the past five decades.

The real question before all of us is what happens next?  Is it possible for Haitians to go back to living a normal existence when even the ground betrays them?  Can we trust any of our baseball heroes anymore or do we have to assume that they are all lying?  And does the promise of a universal health care system fade away for another 20 years until we once again realize how broken and rigged the current system is?

Upheaval forces us to answer difficult questions.  And whether major or minor, these answers take time.  Me, I’m a realist and always have been.  I expect people to take the easy route.  In another two weeks, Haiti will disappear from the news and we won’t hear about it again until the next time a disaster strikes.  Despite the nearly universally accepted realization that health care is broken, our leaders will shy away from making us taste the bitter medicine and unfortunate people (who, luckily for the politicians, don’t tend to vote) will continue to fall through the cracks.  And Mark McGwire, a self-confessed liar and cheater, will continue to make an exorbitant salary as a hitting coach while Pete Rose is banned from baseball.  That, my friends, is reality.

-A

The Upside to the Backside

In important news that has come out this week not involving Mark McGwire (Really? Steroids? Huh, I never would have guessed), apparently Ryan Howard may be the most healthy player in baseball. Don’t believe me? Well, how about the BBC?

There’s only one major downside (as opposed to backside) to this. Now, instead of picturing this like the article asks you to do:

jennifer_lopez_behind.jpgYou’ll have to picture this instead:

ryanhoward.jpgOuch.

-A

Obligatory McGwire Mention… and Some Other Crap

mark mcgwire steroids.jpgMark McGwire Quotes (that I made up):

“I didn’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno.  I wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno COMBINED!  ON ‘ROIDS!  ARRRRRGH!”

My talent comes from the ‘man upstairs’ and lemme tell ya, the ‘man upstairs’ is F***ING JUICED!  ARRRRRGH!

Yeah, I take Viagra, but just to stay healthy. It doesn’t help me bang hot chicks for hours and hours and hours at a time!  ARRRRRGH!”

Other Crap:

My duplicitous and oft abrasive colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has been busy conjuring up all sorts of facetious baseball scenarios, one of which embraces the Selig-spawned, Selig-spun “world” World Series, proposing to pit the Major League Baseball champion against the… the… Japanese baseball… league champion?  What?

bud selig close up.jpgUh, excuse me, Mr. Krause, but… uh… insanity called, they want their madness back.

First of all, this is a Bud Selig ploy — a major league trick to make you think he’s actually working towards the betterment of the game.  Preposterous!  The World Series is called the friggin’ World Series because it boasts the two best baseball teams in the WORLD.  No Japanese champion can hang with the MLB champion.  If they could, then all those Japanese players would already be playing in the MAJOR LEAGUES! 

Ah, such treachery.  It saddens me to see Mr. Krause, someone so smart and so spry, take such a gigantic dip into the crazy-pool.  But wait.  Yes… it gets worse…

Some More Crap:

…Because somehow Mr. Krause got it in his head that once Albert Pujols’ contract is up with the Cardinals in 2011, that the perennial MVP candidate will be out to find a new, more financially sexy organization to call his home.  Mr. Krause even mentioned the possibility of seeing A.P. wearing an old English “D” across his chest!!!

Total f***ing horse****.

Sorry.  Had to go there.  Ahem…

Like the Tigers always have Ty Cobb, so too will the Cardinals always have Albert Pujols.

Don’t worry, Al… at least you will always have the image of Alan Trammell in a Tigers uni, forever.

Oh, wait.

alan trammell cubs.jpgHate me ‘cuz I pull back the curtain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(McGwire image courtesy of Coffee with Adam)

White Like Me

sammy sosa is white.jpgYep.  This is pretty weird.  And I bet you are wondering what exactly is going on. 

So are we.

That’s why, once again, we pitted our trusty RSBS interns to the task of discovering why Sammy Sosa is turning white.  After toiling for about twenty minutes, here is the shortlist of what they found:

  • Ran out of shower gel, bleach does a good job, life is rough in the D.R.
  • Wants to be remembered as a member of the White Sox; this is a good way to make that happen
  • Saw the ghost of Sammy past (circa 1989)
  • Planning a trip to the Northside of Chicago and doesn’t want to be recognized. Why? Urine Trough Diving. That’s why.
  • Combine Oxandrolone with Dignotamoxi add a little Methyltestosterone and BAM! You’re WHITE!
  • Sun bathing below the equator has a reverse tan affect, much like eating after midnight turns you into a Gremlin
  • The white skin came free with the Humphrey Bogart toupee package
  • Tired of living in the shadow of Mark McGwire, hopes being brighter will help him stand out while still stuck in the shadow of Mark McGwire
  • Took a look at the man in the mirror and decided to make that change
  • Sick of seeing Karl Rove have all the fun

Skin rejuvenation?  More like how could you make your image more of an abomination!

Hm.  Sounds better when I read that last sentence out loud.

Nevermind.

Just don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Ruminations on Perfection

parker_bohn.jpg

Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)

But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.

The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.

Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.

mark_buehrle_no_hitter.jpg

But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it. 

Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.

-A

The Filibuster

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pujolsandlidge.jpgIt’s recently occurred to me that Albert [Pujols] is on pace to challenge Maris’
single season HR mark.  If he does this he becomes the first player NOT
implicated in steroids or other PED’s to do so.  Should baseball make a
bigger deal out of this?  I kind of doubt MLB would (it would look like
they were admitting Bonds and Sosa’s and McGwire’s big home run years
were illegitimate), but baseball fans should be rejoicing in what has
quietly become a potentially historic season.
Your thoughts?

Ted
Chicago, IL
__________________________________________

As arrogant and scapegoating as MLB’s front offices are,  we would be much better off betting our 401k’s that Sarah Palin will become the next president than we would on MLB making any mention of this highly inconvenient fact.  But that does not mean we, the fans, and other knowledgeable folks can’t start stirring up some serious crap.

And who shall be our leader in this sanctimonious crusade?

bob costas.jpgBob Friggin’ Costas.

For those of you who tuned into the MLB Network on Thursday night to watch the Mets get blown out by the Dodgers, you already know what I’m talking about.  For the rest of you, let me fill you in…

Inspired by the overhyped drama of Manny’s first series in New York after his embarrassing steroid reveal, Bob Costas came out to his colleague Jim Kaat and declared that McGwire’s record, Bonds’ record and the rest of those monumentally tainted blips of prestige could be thrown out and dismissed entirely by any Joe Fan — any human being capable of understanding how marred the game had become during the ‘steroid era’ — and that according to such logical folks, Roger Maris’ 61 and Hank Aaron’s 755 still stood as the true records — the unclouded, inarguable, uncontested homerun records of Major League Baseball.

MLB won’t ever tell you anything like that.

Bob Costas will.

And did.

Is it fair to knock Major League Baseball for doing what is really the only logical thing they can do given the circumstances?  No.  Probably not. 

But fair is a relative concept — one no one (including me, I admit) had the balls to contest when guys like Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro and Paul Lo Duca were raking dingers like I chug Bud Light on the weekends.

Still, as a lowly MLBlogger, I adhere to my spawning necessity to stir up a bunch of crap for no good reason, hoping someone will actually take notice, even if I do contradict my own penned tirades from time to time.

But, Ted, let me tell ya, I’m rejoicing, man.  And in my world, Roger Maris is at the top (except for that one moment back in ’98 when McGwire took Steve Trachsel deep at Busch II) and Hank Aaron is tops too because I simply cannot stand Barry Bonds, his runaway forehead, or his smug crybaby I’m-the-victim routine.

Alleluia!

I’m a US American!  It’s in my blood to flip-flop; it’s in yours too and you know it. 

So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m a greasy s***talker, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Pictures of a scantily clad Courtney Cox circa 1998 also welcome.

Stirring Up Crap

pudding.jpgIn recent weeks, much ado has been made about the ongoing interweb scuffle between bloggers and “real” journalists.  From JRod’s mental wanderings on Raul Ibanez to Geoff Baker’s self-serving opus dei to Hugging Harold Reynoldspublic flaying of Jay Mariotti, everyone seems to be getting in on the controversy — creating it even.

I’m sure JRod is pretty pleased, if for nothing else than for being noticed (albeit harshly).  As sports bloggers, isn’t that all we really want?  To be noticed? 

Apparently, this is the best way to go.  Stir up some real crap.

So I’m gonna.

The following are very, very, very TRUE:

  • Vegetarian or not, Prince Fielder is fat
  • In my “fantasies”, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols always fan me with palm tree leaves from the side while I… y’know, do my thing
  • The color orange is on steroids!!!!
  • Rush Limbaugh is also fat… and annoying
  • Babe Ruth was only awesome because he had to overcome and compensate for the fact that he had a girl’s last name (and breasts)
  • Barack Obama is a smoker. Deal with it, yo!
  • Bud Selig is as good at being commissioner of baseball as the Washington Nationals are at being champions of baseball
  • I spent a lot of money on Cardinals games during the summer of 1998, in awe of Mark McGwire, realizing that something fishy might be going on, but, like you, didn’t care that much about it ‘cuz it was friggin’ awesome. Like Selig, I too, looked the other way; but I would still make a much better commissioner of baseball than he because this All-Star Game’s “this time it counts” thing is absolutely ridiculous.
  • Our earth is flat; gravity is just some bulls*** made up by Communists
  • Manny Ramirez is Predator… and a cheater and annoying; but in a few days no one will remember that he got popped for taking a banned substance… and just in case you’re wondering, no, Manny is not fat — just big-haired.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m a fire-starter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff