In 2005, the St. Louis Cardinals called up a 27 year-old lifetime minor leauger to get his first hacks at the big league level. That man’s name was John Rodriguez.
Don’t remember him? No worries. Most people don’t.
Mr. Rodriguez came on pretty strong during his brief glimpse of the Majors, hitting .295 with 5 HRs and 24 RBI in 149 at-bats. The folks in St. Louis liked him and his cinderella story so much that someone decided to grace Mr. Rodriguez with the nickname: J-Rod (a la A-Rod, K-Rod, YourMom-Rod, et al).
J-Rod *ahem* wasn’t a fan of the name. Why? Maybe because he wasn’t A-Rod! To be honest, he wasn’t anywhere close to being an A-Rod type player. His greatest downfall was was being born with the same easily nicknameable name as poster boy Alex while also having a first initial that contained just one syllable (you see, W-Rod would never work).
Flash forward to December 7th, 2009 and my trusty misanthrope of a colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, deigns us with the phonetically challenged nickname “Pla-Po” for his beloved (and now long gone from Detroit) Placido Polanco.
Pla-Po? Are you kidding me? How is that even pronounced? PLAY-Poh? Plah-POH? Ah, forget it; all I know is that it sucks.
So, please know, Mr. Krause, that from now on we are calling for a complete ban on poorly constructed nicknames, specifically on those you created. For those of you dear readers unaware, the following Krausian nicknames shall no longer be used, under any circumstances, lest you wish the worst on the baseball-politico community:
- Matt Holliday — Ma-Ho
- Barack & Michelle Obama — Bachelle
- Albert Pujols — A-Jols (read “A-Holes”)
- Dick Cheney — Dick-Chin
- Pablo Sandoval — P-Sand
- Harry Reid & Nancy Pelosi — Harry Nancy
- Carlisle Littlejohn — C-Lit
- Michael Cuddyer — Mi-Cudd
- Ann Coulter — ‘Lil Beotch (it should be “Big Beotch”)
- Kevin Youkilis — K.Y. Kill-Us
And of course, let us not forget to mention the ongoing ban against one of the crappiest nicknames of all time, also penned by Mr. Krause, for his dilapidated Mo-Town Tigers team:
‘Cuz unless finishing the AL Central in second place qualifies you as a ‘winner’, then this just needs to stop.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m brash, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Dear (So and So Business Associate),
I hope this finds you well rested after the long Thanksgiving holliday. Your question really needs little thought to answer, for the best single volume on Chinese symbolism is most definitelyHidden Meanings…
Did you catch that?
No, not my inane nice guy approach (which I admit, reeks of staleness). I mean did you catch my spelling error?
Holiday. Not holliday. Silly Jeff.
If this can happen to me, it can happen to you. Dear readers, if you allow your baseball nerdiness to infect your everyday life then please at least take the extra careful step of proofreading your work-related correspondences.
And that goes for everything work related. The baseball gods blessed me with a 24/7 baseball persona, but they weren’t careful enough to provide me with a reality censor. Some things slip by and the result can be as catastrophic as postseason errors by the Tigers pitching staff (eat it, Mr. Krause; it’s never going to go away).
Other mistakes I’ve made at work include but are not limited to the following:
- Screaming out Holy F***! when DeWayne Wise made “The Catch”
- Telling the mailman he reminded me of a young, early 60s era Dal Maxvill to which he replied: “That’s the coffee with the Columbian guy on the front, right?” Wrong.
- Asking a client to hold (while I sat in an online queue to score Cards/Cubs tickets)
- Turning red in the face while explaining to a colleague that a batter cannot advance to first base on a dropped third strike if there’s a guy on first! Jesus Christ I know what I’m f****** talkin’ about here, man!
The above are all avoidable, but when we find ourselves in the trenches of the holiday season and the two most sought free agents are named Holliday and Halladay, someone is bound to find himself in a world of blunder.
And that’s what we want to help you avoid.
So, y’know, don’t mess up. Like I did.
Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I fell victim to the occasional spelling error, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
When you have the right cards and you know you are going to win the hand, it’s natural to hold out and sweeten the pot the best you can, while you can. The concept is as ancient as it is common: supply and demand; buy low, sell high… all those stock economic catchphrases.
We see this in sports all the time — in baseball in particular — most notably with the high profile clients of Scott Boras.
Sure, we were all initially excited about the Matt Holliday show in St. Louis last July; but we also knew that despite its quaint, warm appeal, it would ultimately end like this:
Naturally, our nation’s elected leaders are not immune from similar Boras-like tactics.
You want that health care reform bill to pass the senate? Give my home state of Louisiana an extra $300 million in federal dough. Credit Sen. Mary Landrieu with that walk-off homerun to end the game (but not the series).
Or senators could just vote according to their constituents.
Now there’s a thought.
Somehow, considering how much money is involved in motivating people to do… well… anything, I still feel like I must be doing something wrong.
I am skilled. I am intelligent. I have good ideas and I perform well.
But I only have about $345 of liquid assets to hold me over until payday and there’s a lot of beer that must be consumed before then.
I wonder if Boras would be interested in representing a linguist.
Hate me ‘cuz I am willing to sell out, 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.
…because Chris Duncan somehow invaded the body of Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals broke my wounded heart.
Sorry, dear readers, but I have nothing else to say about that.
It is Friday… and we like to make people smile on Fridays… but I haven’t the ability; so please go peruse the message boards of B3TA for a good laugh.
If you need me, I’ll be under a rock.
P.S. Matt, you know I still think you’re the man, but throwin’ you under the bus is the only thing keeping me from lying down in front of one myself right now. I know you understand.
(*Shout out to Miller Park Drunk for the image link — click it if you dare)
Long a bothersome subject of the baseball world, RSBS and our talented staff of interns have finally decided to delve into this curiously confounding query: Why is Clint Hurdle orange? While the definitive answer may elude us still, we continue to take great pride in narrowing it down to the following reasons:
Finally realized Matt Holliday wasn’t safe
He’s actually part Oompa loompa
Wished the Cash for Clunkers program existed when looking to trade in Danny Ardoin and J.D. Closser for the $145.64 they were worth
Just read Ann Coulter’s blog
Being shown up by Jim Tracy caused him to overcompensate by excessive tanning
But in the end, we are all fairly certain that the actual reason that Clint Hurdle is orange is because:
He’s addicted to Tang.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Indeed, it is no secret that whilst in our bogarting college days, I brought my dubious and oft erratic colleague, Mr. Krause, up on a live stage in front of hundreds of people with the promise of providing wholesome entertainment only to publicly embarrass him by tying him down and shaving his overgrown forest of an otherwise pasty white chest.
Something tells me he hasn’t gotten over the humiliation.
Which explains his hurtful yet accurate tirade ridiculing the Julio Lugo/Chris Duncan exchange from earlier this week.
But let me step away from the GOP-like mudslinging smackdowns and ask this simple question: Can we not just call this trade what it is? Literally?
It’s crap for crap.
And no, I ain’t happy about it.
But I have found that in the darkest of hours, the most tumultuous of times, the most republican of regimes, that sniffing through all the sugar-coating just to figure out what is really going on often brings out the heartiest of laughs.
Don’t believe me?
Now if that doesn’t make you want to relive 1983 — and laugh all the way — then I don’t know what will.
I do know that giving up a top prospect (Brett Wallace) and some minor leaguers for the player formerly known as Matt Holliday (now just a shell of his former slugging self) is something that will keep the smiles off my face and torment my sleep patterns. Until I see some serious power surge protection for Albert Pujols from our new unsignable Scott Boras client, I am not going to budge from my disgusted stance. Ah, the pain… I cannot help but remember that Dan Haren and Kiko Calero trade for Mark Mulder a few years back. But hey, if this motivates Tony LaRussa to stay on with the Cardinals, then I suppose it is more than worth it… that and as long as Jesus continues to hate the Cubs.
Happy Friday! And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*And a special RSBS cap tip to St. Louis boy, Mark Buehrle, for not only achieving perfection, but for providing me with uber-stimulation while I should have been working.