It happens on a regular basis, this gathering of young talent and grizzled veterans. The two sides (with input from the people of course because, after all, this is America) pull the brightest stars from their respective firmaments, bring them together and then allow them duke it out. And it seems like each time the result plays an increasingly ambiguous role in what eventually happens in November. Yep, that’s what the nominating conventions are all about.
Oh, I’m sorry. Did you think I was talking about the All-Star game?
It’s no coincidence that baseball and politics have so much in common. The two are intertwined in American history. Even now, Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jim Bunning terrorizes opponents from his seat in the US Senate just like he used to do from his spot on the mound.
And as I was watching the Minor League All-Star game the other day, I was reminded again of how fleeting fame can be to both baseball players and politicians. Each and every one is fighting for a chance to reach the big time, to really stand out. But it’s hard to know who has what it takes.
A year ago there was talk of Mark Sanford as a possible McCain running mate and it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would be in the thick of things when the next election cycle began. Now, he’s an also-ran, an afterthought, a cautionary tale. A teary-eyed Alex Rodriguez but with no more comeback.
Or take Sarah Palin, the politician’s equivalent of Sammy Sosa. Both had talent but made it as far as they did for all the wrong reasons. Now they’re little more than whipping boys, examples of all that’s wrong with a broken system.
However, it’s better to focus on the positives at this time of year, on people like Brandon Inge and Tim Wakefield who finally got a little respect even if things didn’t play out exactly the way they might have hoped. Because, for all the ridiculousness associated with the All-Star game or with political conventions, they really are a good show and you aren’t going to find anything like ’em except in the good ol’ US of A.
Welcome back from the All-Star break!
I really haven’t had that exciting of a life. There
are a lot of things I wish I would have done, instead of just sitting
around and complaining about having a boring life. So I pretty much
like to make it up. I’d rather tell a story about somebody else.
— Kurt Cobain (1964-1994)
Instead of complaining about who isn’t going to the All-Star Game, I’d like to tell you a story about someone who is going to the All-Star Game:
Luckily, one of my best friends is a Cardinals season ticket holder. And besides being the proud owner of Quincy, IL’s finest bar and grill (a place where even Mike Shannon has been known to drink) he also has a kind heart and agreed to take me along for all of the All-Star thrills, including acting as my official wing-man in my misguided quest for Erin Andrews glory. Yes, that is still going on. Admittedly, overcoming such built-in adversity will not be an easy assignment; it will be easier than overcoming the struggle against Nazi Germany (don’t tell Al Gore) but, dear readers, it will not be easy — especially since so many deserved, albeit inconvenient, All-Stars will not be present.
Yet that does not mean they should not be recognized for their All-Starredness, no matter the capacity… so here are your RSBS All-Star snubs of 2009 whom I will proudly represent in St. Louis next week:
Just like that frat guy named Hunter and his impervious flesh pursuit at the bar on $5 pitcher night, yeah, he strikes out an awful lot. But he also surprises you every once in a while and hits some big-time bombs… or bombshells, whichever the case may be.
Stealing bases is one thing. Stealing taxpayer money to bankroll an 8-year long international affair? Now that’s All-Star material… because, well, it takes balls. Balls of steel.
Being the most popular man in Major League Baseball without ever having played a Major League Baseball game is certainly something to tip your cap towards. Just wait until you see the kind of velocity he can generate with those ears! I promise you: he is the best pitcher EVER in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD!
No one likes a quitter, but unlike Manny Ramirez, at least Palin looks good while doing it.
As an unabashed Cardinal fan, there are about about 30 million reasons why this guy is a true All-Star. Obviously, not one of them includes playing good, fundamentally sound baseball.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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***Pictures of Allen shot-gunning Old Styles also welcome.
Tragically, Six Shot Dead in Chicago Over the Weekend…
…Cub fans were quick to blame the absences of a healthy Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.
Guy Tells Me I Should Read His Blog About His Fantasy Baseball Team Because “It’s Awesome”…
…said guy subsequently found not to have been laid since 1998.
Cardinals Make Deal to Land Mark DeRosa…
…he ain’t Matt Holliday; but even Matt Holliday ain’t Matt Holiday anymore. I like this move, if for no other reason than the fact that it has caused mass hysteria for Cub fans who regret seeing him go to make room for the $30 million .232 hitting Milton Bradley.
Washington Nationals Designate Kip Wells for Assignment…
…because if Dave Duncan couldn’t fix him, no one can (nor cares to)?
Coup Overthrows Honduran President Manuel Zelaya…
…thus proving that the recipe for success in South America is violence… and dictatorship… and coffee. Lots of coffee.
Cub Fan Heard Slamming White Sox Fan By Referencing the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, Again…
…same fan responsible for blaming six shooting deaths on the absences of a healthy Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.
MLB to Launch Streaming Video of Live In-Market Padres Games…
…this AMAZING feature comes just before you realize that a) the Padres su<k b) there are so many other, more exciting things to do in San Diego like Sea World, Chargers training camp and, of course, Mexico and c) Yes, David Eckstein is that short in real life.
Clint Hurdle Settling in as Analyst on the MLB Netowrk…
…even though his makeup gives him an orangish appearance on television, we shouldn’t focus on the fact that he was just fired by the Rockies, or that since his departure the Rockies have gone on a mad winning streak. We should be watching Hurdle like we watch the ugly girl at the dance: with a bottle of Jack and a heart full of sympathy.
Republican Governor Mark Sanford Returns to the Office After Screwing Argentinian for 8 Whole Years…
…because apparently having bad taste is a prerequisite to running the state of South Carolina.
Nick Green Doing A Great Job As Red Sox Shortstop…
…mostly because his name is not Julio Lugo.
Of course, Green would do a lot better job if he happened to be a healthy Mark Prior or Kerry Wood.
You know this.
So don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As a born and bred resident of South Carolina, there isn’t a whole lot
to get excited about when it comes to baseball. The Braves suck, the
Nats suck. Really, we’re pretty limited when it comes to our options.
But here’s my question. If our governor, Mark Sanford, were a baseball
team, which team would he be and why?
Be not afraid, for the South Carolinian MLB plight has not gone unnoticed during the ostensibly offensive tenure of RSBS. My sister lived there for a year and I remember her husband complaining that there wasn’t much of a buzz for the game at its highest level — that people got more excited about NCAA Gamecocks baseball than the Major League playoffs. Look, I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to follow the Braves or the Nationals, as it is obvious that neither team has the “game” nor the “co<k” (proverbial as it may be) to be a bonafide winner.
That’s just the truth.
But let us focus on the crux of your question, Francis, which seems to key in on our special talent of personifying baseball entities with tangible political failures. While this challenge may not seem as tantamount to society as our Modern Era All-Corrupt Baseball-Poltico Team, it certainly is as important in gauging the ever growing dissatisfaction of the masses and their subsequent loss of face. Especially in South Carolina — a red state that suffered the humiliation of a US American intent on saving the “education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and” exposed on national television — the tragedy of Mark Sanford must be discussed in terms of its baseball counterpart:
The Chicago Cubs.
But wait! How can I equate the Cubs with just another high profile politician caught in a sexy web of lies? It’s quite easy. Because like Mark Sanford, the Cubs are posers.
Sure, they’ve sorta passed for a wholesome bunch of merry go-gettin’ winners (save Zambrano, Bradley, Lilly, et al) the last couple of years, and they always look good on the surface — good enough to convince the analysts they’ll win it all and good enough to draw in a bunch of weekday party-goin’ drunkards from well-to-do families who are so eager to overpay for an underperforming product that they’ll even sacrifice their dignity… but in the end, let’s face it: a hundred and one years is a long friggin’ time.
To put it bluntly, both the Cubs and Mark Sanford indeed have that swashbuckling debonair, that charismatic sheen, that alluring promise of ultimate perfection. They get higher and higher… and as soon as they try to take it all the way to the top…
…they fall flat on their face.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.