Are the Giants better off without Melky?
Oak Park, IL
On August 15 the Giants were 64-54 after losing to Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. That same day they found out that they would be losing Cabrera for the rest of the regular season due to a 50-game ban. Since then, the Giants won 27 games and only lost 11 on their way to clinching the division with a couple weeks left to go. Now, there’s no doubt that Cabrera, juicing or not, can hit. In reality, the drugs just made him better. And it’s also pretty evident that he was on track for the NL batting title. But when you look at the record compared to what the expectations were following news of Cabrera’s ban and one thing becomes obvious.
The Giants are a good team.
And they might be even better without Melky.
Look at the numbers. With Melky the Giants were 10 games over .500 and doing well in the West but still not a sure thing. Without Melky this same team is 26 games over .500 as of Friday and simply blew away the rest of the division.
What that tells me is that something changed in the collective psyche of the Giants when Melky got the boot. The knew they could no longer depend on one guy to come up with the clutch hit and, as a result, it has been a whole bunch of guys who have had to come up with the hits and catches. This makes them a team as opposed to a collection of players brought in as a supporting cast for the one star.
I don’t know if the Giants have the magic to make a run this year like they did in 2010. If I had to guess, I’d probably say no since baseball is so wildly unpredictable. But they seem to be coming together as a team more now than they did with Melky leading the charge so anything is possible. Throw in the fact they don’t have to worry about facing Strasburg in the postseason like they did back on August 15 and it means that their chances are just a little bit better.
What MLB team does the GOP most resemble?
You can draw a lot of different analogies between baseball and politics and you can draw even more between baseball and the Republican party. A bunch of rich white guys with a sense of entitlement and maybe a token minority or two thrown in just for flavor? We could be talking the Republican party or the baseball owners. A scorched-earth policy that leaves everyone worse off? That could be either the baseball owners in the 1994 strike season or the Republican leadership team in 2008. Considering that one of the baseball owners became President and de facto leader of the Republican party for eight years in 2000, it would be pretty easy to say that GOP most resembles the owners.
But that’s not the question. The question is which team does the GOP most resemble and that requires a little more analysis.
My first thought, especially with the recent rise to prominence of Paul Ryan, was the San Francisco Giants. The Giants used to be known for their history with inspirational guys like Willie Mays and Dave Dravecky. That’s like the old GOP, the party of Lincoln and even Nixon, minus the whole Watergate thing. Now, though, the Giants are the team of Barry Bonds and Melky Cabrera. They’re the team of liars. After Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention that even a Fox News commentator called “deceiving” and the absolutely flabbergasting claim by Ryan that he ran a sub three hour marathon (since “corrected”), you’d have to put him in the same category as Bonds and Cabrera.
Still, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Lying is well and good, even when called something different, but RSBS readers demand more.
There are a bunch of other possibilities, from the Red Sox to the Dodgers but really, when you stop and think about it, there’s only one answer to this question. The GOP could only be the New York Yankees.
A group of millionaire crybabies who routinely underachieve despite having every advantage known to man? Could be the Yankees, could be the Republicans. Supporters incessantly screwed over by a leadership group that routinely takes money from supporters’ pockets while those supporters not only cheer them on but also keep coming back for more? Hm, really could be either one. An unnatural love of pinstripes? I think you can see where this is going.
Really, the answer couldn’t be any easier and I’m almost ashamed to have to say it. But just because it’s easy that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Occam’s Razor, my friends.
Although the respective baseball careers of Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon took a huge hit this past week with the announcement of fifty game bans for each player, they can still count themselves as being lucky. Fifty games? That means they have to sit out the rest of the season and then come back next year. Sure, they’ll have that “cheater” label pasted on them but that doesn’t mean some team won’t go ahead and pick them up anyway. No, it could have been w hole lot worse. In fact, that’s why RSBS is using this opportunity to bring you the latest installment of the hard-hitting series, RSBS Presents. This time, RSBS Presents: It Could Have Been Worse.
They could have ruined precious artwork:
In Spain, an octogenarian parishioner took it on herself to restore a 19th Century fresco by Elias Garcia Martinez. When you take a close look at the before and after, you see that she might have missed a couple details. You know, like the eyes:
And the mouth. And pretty much the entire face.
They could have created a royal scandal:
Not content with getting schooled by Ryan Lochte in a pool at a Vegas club, Prince Harry, the third in line for the British throne let me remind you, managed to get his naked self snapped in photos with young women in equal states of undress.
Sure, he’s not the king. And at this rate, that’s probably a good thing. It’s hard for your subjects to take you seriously once they’ve seen the royal jewels and scepter.
They could have picked the entirely wrong career:
Remember when Dave Chappelle played the blind white supremacist on his eponymously named show? Well, that kind of happened in real life this past week when the leader of an anti-Semitic party in Hungary discovered that he was Jewish. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he also found out that maternal grandparents were holocaust survivors. Sure, a fifty game ban may suck but finding out that you are the person you hate and giving up all your neo-Nazi street cred? That’s a tough pill to swallow.
So there you have it. Melky and Bartolo messed up but they’ll live to fight another day. Well, unless they accidentally try restoring the Willie Mays statue. MLB don’t like it when people mess with Willie.
What would MLB do if it turned out that Melky Cabrera was “legitimately” using PEDs? For the same matter, what if Barry Bonds came out and told us that he had been using the “cream” and the “clear” but it was legitimate so we didn’t need to worry about it? I’m pretty sure that the fans and MLB would call bullsh*t on both of them.
By now I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going with this since you couldn’t swing a cat this week without hitting some news about Clay Aiken‘s long-lost father, Todd. (Ok, fine, they spell their names differently but how funny would that be?) And with both sides of the debate more than willing to weigh in, once again the Presidential race turned away from the economy and back towards the Republican’s seeming fetish for pushing away women voters.
Getting back to the original question I posed, of course you’d laugh at Cabrera or Bonds’ statements (speaking of which, what is it with the Bay Area??). Whether it was “legitimate” or not, violating the League’s substance abuse policy means you have to face the consequences. Sure, some guys, like Bonds, Sosa and McGwire, benfited from Bud’s willingness to look the other way as long as the money kept rolling in. But the way things stand now, a violation is going to get you fifty games, just like Manny and Melky. Except for when it doesn’t. Yes, I’m looking at you Ryan Braun and your technicality.
Whether or not you get away with it, there is no such thing as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” PED use just like there’s no such thing as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” rape. And it’s important to keep in mind here that although PED’s may tarnish someone’s legacy or hurt a team in the playoff hunt, rape destroys a person’s life, no matter what Mike Huckabee or Todd Akin say. It has nothing to do with “legitimate” or “illegitimate.” It’s plainly and simply unacceptable.
Last week we heard the collective breath leave the many fans of the San Francisco Giants who had placed their hope in Melky Cabrera. His fall from grace not only hurts the Giants’ playoff hopes, it also hurts baseball as he had been one of a handful of rising stars this season. In fact, it was only a couple months ago that he captivated the nation in propelling the NL all-stars to consecutive wins in the mid-season classic and bringing the game’s MVP award home to the Bay area. He was a star in the making but that disappeared into the blackhole of a 50-game suspension.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What exactly does it sound like when a star gets sucked into a blackhole?” and you can be forgiven if you missed the answer with all the white noise emanating from the gas giants that make up the sports punditocracy. See, as luck would have it, CNN just happened to provide us an answer last week (fast forward to about the four minute mark).
Hm, not as dramatic as I would have expected. So long, Melky.
There’s a difference between dominating and being dominant. Anyone can dominate for a moment but being dominant is something else all together. Jeremy Lin dominated for a few games. Michael Jordan was dominant. The other night Felix Hernandez proved that he’s not only capable of dominating but that he is dominant. Other players have made that jump as well but as much as it has to do with skill, it also has a lot to do with attitude.
Let’s try to break it down a little.
This is dominant:
This is not:
Not so dominant:
And just in case it still isn’t quite clear, here’s one more example.
I think that about sums it up.
It’s Shark Week. But you knew that. What you might not know is how dire the level of stupid is that permeates our planet.
Which makes me ask: WHERE IS JAWS WHEN YOU REALLY NEED HIM?!?!
Why not show up in the Red Sox clubhouse? Talk about sharks in the water, my goodness. Isn’t it funny how a couple of World Series titles make us forget just how endearing the Red Sox used to be? Nowadays, The Nation seems more like an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Incessant and annoying bickering from privileged entitled millionaires ad nauseum. Before the season started, I was so excited Bobby Valentine was back in the manager’s seat because I knew he would bring drama to the league. This is NOT the drama I was looking for.
Nor was I looking for the Vice President of US America to be just as stupid as I’ve always thought he might be. Well, turns out he is. Joe Biden’s mouth seems to be about as large as Jaws’, yes, it’s just too bad he uses his for talking instead of devouring prey.
And while I realize Jaws tends to reside in the warm coastal waters off the North Atlantic, would it be too much to ask for him to swim down, out and around on up to the San Francisco Bay? There’s one fraudulent outfielder there who could use a good ass-chewin’.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m angry, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
New Yorkers flooded the city today as the Cubs played host to the Mets up north and the White Sox welcomed the Evil Empire to the Southside. This sudden influx of visitors was obvious as Mets fans and Yankees fans could be seen throughout the city stealing our cabs, spitting on our trains and jaywalking across major thoroughfares. As a friendly gesture to our northeastern brethren, we Chicagoans went to a lot of trouble to make them feel at home by dumping our garbage in the street, being rude to strangers and talking loudly on our cellphones no matter where we happened to be. It seemed to work quite well. When I came home after work I found a wayward New Yorker sitting on my stoop with a brown paper sacked bottle asking if I wanted to “see a card trick”.
It was a really neat trick.
But after the cacophony of Bronx and Queens accents I heard today, none was more apparent (nor as obnoxiously entertaining) as the world’s biggest Melky Cabrera fan, who somehow found a way to outbroadcast even the infamous Hawk and DJ combo during Comcast Sportsnet’s televising of the Yankees/White Sox matchup this evening. Now, let me just say that I have watched thousands of baseball games on television and never have I seen/heard/touched/loved something quite as mind-blowing as this guy.
I was having my milk and cookies (a baseball ritual for me) and the game was in the 4th inning. Melky Cabrera stepped to the plate to battle against Sox pitcher Jose Contreras. And then, out of nowhere, came the voice of a loud, obnoxious Melky fan — the Melky Man. Suddenly more audible than the commentary of Hawk and DJ, the Melky Man eventually drowned them out all together.
“Melky!” he cried. “Hey, Melky, it’s me!”
Okay. No big deal, right? So some fan got close enough to one of the on-field mics to be heard over the air. Except this guy was loud. Really loud. “Melky! Melky, he’s gonna throw you a fastball!”
“Melky, Melky, watch the forkball this time. The forkball!”
Kerrrrr-plunk. Contreras throws the forkball.
“Another forkball. Watch the forkball!”
Kerrrrr-plunk, Contreras throws the forkball again, Melky pops out.
And then it was over… until…
The 7th inning. Melky came to the plate and we heard: “Melky, I’m back“.
If you watch closely, this time you can see Melky glancing towards the stands behind him when the Melky Man sends his salutations. As if in an effort to thwart another long one-sided Melky Man conversation, Melky swung at the first pitch and knocked a basehit to left.
By the 8th inning, when Melky came to the plate again, milk was shooting out of my nose from my spontaneous outbursts of laughter:
“Melky, sounded like a strike to me, Melky,” said the Melky Man after a swing and a miss.
“Melky, it doesn’t look good, Melky,” said the Melky Man after Cabrera watched a ball go wide of the strike zone.
“That was a big swing, Melky,” said the Melky Man after a big cut.
“Melky, the count is one and two, Melky,” said the Melky Man when the count was 1-2.
Like myself, the Melky Man seemed to be really good at pointing out the obvious, pounding redundancies into the ground, and annoying the sh*t out of anyone within earshot. In other words, the Melky Man is a genius and if you go back and watch Melky’s ABs, I guarantee you’ll be snorting milk out of your nose and laughing your ^ss off too.
But what was even more hilarious than the Melky Man himself was CSNS’ complete disregard for its broadcast being hijacked by an outspoken lameball fan in the stands. Is this a common occurrence in New York? If so, I might have to tune in to more YES Network games and pass on the usual Three Stooges marathons.
And hey you, Melky Man, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.