As the postseason awards get handed out and as Yankees fans revel in what 1.4 billion dollars can do for you, those of us cheering for also-ran teams have to sit back and hope for better luck next year. Yep, next year could be the year when Verlander wins his Cy Young, Miguel Cabrera finally walks off with the MVP award and Jimmy Leyland and the Tigers win the Series. It’s not impossible.
But even if this is just a pipe dream, it’s still better than watching the Lions continue to redefine terrible, one loss at a time. We used to have the Pistons but they’re just ordinary anymore. And I suppose there are the Red Wings but I am not nor have I ever been Canadian so that just doesn’t do it for me.
The thing is that the Tigers have all the pieces. They’re just missing that elusive something, that killer instinct that could put them over the top. You don’t put that many Venezuelans on a team and not expect some sort of revolution. Expectations are about all we have these days, though.
This whole process is kind of like that old song about playing right field. You daydream about the ideal situation and everything coming together but then something wakes you up and you face the truth, the terror of a baseball hurtling your way. For me, that something is one of my favorite Twitter streams, Sh!tMyDadSays. And if you scroll down to the tweet on October 8th, you’ll see what I mean. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Hope springs eternal, though. And in case you’ve forgotten the song, the kid ultimately ends up making the catch out in right field. Who knows? Maybe next year the Tigers will get the good news that Justin’s dad thinks they deserve. But I’m betting on god taking another dump in the parking lot.
Oh no. There he goes again. Indeed, dear readers, my errant and oft annoying colleague, Mr. Krause, is in desperate need of some verbal “fire” — the vitriolic, infernal, flesh-eating kind most notably invoked by the devil and his evil minions.
He did the unthinkable.
He threw down the gauntlet.
He insulted Albert Pujols’ mama.
Where does Mr. Krause find all this idle time to waste on shameless maternal attacks? As a Cardinal fan sitting on top of a 10 game lead in the NL Central, I can certainly see where I would have the time from now until October. But Mr. Krause would make better use of his by pondering the pain he will feel once his streaky Tigers get eliminated early on in the ALDS.
Meanwhile, I’m feelin’ pretty damn good… so good that I’d like to just go on a rampage and say:
- Miguel Cabrera’s mama is so ugly, she makes Willie McGee look like a GQ model!
- Carlos Zambrano’s mama is so lazy, she makes Big Z look like a hard worker!
- Ryan Braun’s mama’s teeth glow so yellow, she can almost lead the Brewers out of the darkness of the NL Central! (nah, nothing glows that yellow)
- Manny Ramirez’s mama is so dirty, her batting helmet has a biohazard label on it!
- And, of course, Mr. Krause, yo’ mama is so dumb, she’d probably fall for this lame Glenn Beck advance:
Hate me ‘cuz I come back fivefold, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Last year about this time I was already discussing the Tigers’ World Series victory parade and trying to figure out how I would attend. Turns out I may have been a little premature in my expectations. Luckily, I learned my lesson and will never again have expectations about the Tigers.
Or at least that’s what I thought until this article popped in my Yahoo today. What am I supposed to think when I read this:
Rick Knapp, the new pitching coach in Detroit, held up his hands. “We’re only 10 days into camp,” he protested. But his eyes shone. And the corners of his mouth couldn’t beat back the grin.
The last thing that anyone who roots for Detroit (the city or any of its teams) needs is hope. And that’s exactly what stories like this provide.
I prefer the “What strange disease did Joel Zumaya contract this offseason” type of story. That rings true. Even the “Fernando Rodney wrestled an alligator” story is acceptable because then you just kind of expect the worst. But all of these Miguel Cabrera looking relaxed and Dontrelle Willis actually hitting the strike zone stories have the opposite effect. They make you re-evaluate the lineup and wonder if maybe we do have a chance in an admittedly weak AL Central.
It’s kind of like the lead up to Obama’s inauguration. You keep telling yourself that he’s just a man and there’s no way he can right all the wrongs of the past eight years overnight. But you can’t help it. You hear the news. You see what’s happening. And you start to think, well, maybe it could happen.
No, not for me that kind of optimism. I’ll take my seat over here, firmly ensconced in the misanthrope camp. Rick Porcello looks good? So did Dontrelle. Cabrera is finally coming into his own? We thought the same of Renteria. With both Rodney and Zumaya healthy, the most heated battle is for the closer position? I’m sure Zumaya has a travel version of Guitar Hero with him.
See, I’ve been a fan of the Lions and Tigers for long enough to know better. So, how about you check in with me at the All-Star break and then we can chat about Porcello, Cabrera and Zumaya, ok? Until then, I’ll just be sitting here with my Ozzie Guillen voodoo doll, trying to figure out what crazy thing I can make him say next.
Clearly established is the fact that perhaps nothing is what it seems these days. From Alex Rodriguez gallivanting around the Dominican streets with his cousin scoring steroid sauce because he was “young and stupid” to Larry Craig simply taking a timeout in an airport restroom because he needed to “relax”, we, as US Americans, would be doing ourselves and our country a great disservice by not postulating the underlying motives and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that make up our anti-apotheoses of leadership.
Guilty until proven innocent?
Why not? This is America after all. We do what we want, when we want (see Iraq, Guantanamo, “W” for more information).
Baseball, democracy, Erin Andrews being all hot and sexy… these are as astutely American as a Paris Hilton reality television show; so it should be no surprise when they eventually fall victim to our insatiable desire for dirt.
So why not celebrate the fecundity of our backpage headliners… bring them together, assemble a stellar nine to barnstorm the backwoods, villages and small towns of this great nation?
Well, I have thought about it and I am all for it and I am doing something about it, damnit.
Marion Barry — CF
At the top of the lineup we need speed; and who better to give us speed than a bonafide crackhead? Believe me, folks, Barry will get on base — perhaps even manage to free-base — all the while giving pitchers (and Washingtonians) nightmares better fit for an episode of The Wire.
Eliot Spitzer — 2B
He’s scrappy, he’s fast, he leaves his socks on. With a name like Spitzer (see Roberto Alomar), Eliot’s the guy I want at second base. As patient in the number two hole (wink, wink) as he was hypocritical during his gubernatorial reign, Eliot is a surefire shot taker whom I definitely want on my team because he knows where to buy all the hot chicks.
Kwame Kilpatrick — 1B
The bigger, the fatter, the sloppier the man, the better the first baseman. Well, at least that is how they do things in Detroit. And Kwame, though once a sharp dresser, now looks a bit haggard after those 99 days in jail. The fact is, defensively liable players often end up at first base. On the plus side, Kwame is a big target and he has the agile hands of a 14 year-old text messaging champion.
Bill Clinton — 3B
No one knows his way around third base better than Slick Willy. Besides, this position requires a bit of flash peppered with a sprig of charm… not to mention an oh-so-faint cheating character. Of course, there are doubts that Clinton could handle the duties of a clean-up man (refer to the stained blue dress) but if we know anything, we know that Bubba is always full of surprises.
John Edwards — SS
Protect a cheater with a cheater: enter John Edwards.
Rod Blagojevich — DH
Now here’s a guy who comes to play, pays to play, forces others to pay to play, whatever; he’s a player. Widely known as a bit of a primper, Blago manages to fill the flashy DH role better than most. His only drawback: if you take him out of the game he will continue to run his idiot mouth.
Roland Burris — RF
Admittedly, the only reason Roland has a spot on this squad is because he’s in tight with the DH; but by now we all know it didn’t take long for Burris to wield his own personal bat of corruption and make a stately name for himself. And let’s face it: Burris has quick feet, able to change his story faster than you can say Chicago Democratic Machine.
George Ryan — LF
Bringing up the rear of our team’s famed corrupt Illinois politician trifecta (CITP) is the always forlorn oft uninteresting George Ryan. He’s fat. He’s slow. He’s a left fielder. But the man knows how to sell contracts, licenses and leases on behalf of his team, so it’s always good to have a guy who can get things when you’re on the road half the season.
Dick Cheney — C
The scowling shot-caller. The calloused captain. The man who hides behind a mask. With the entire field in front of him and myriad opportunities to talk s*** behind people’s backs, it is quite evident that Cheney was born to catch. More fierce than a misguided, misled, mishandled bombardier, he’ll chat the opposing hitter up as much as possible, flashing his hunting rifle from time to time to gain a psychological edge. Arrrrggghhh.
Larry Craig — P
Bringing up the rear, ahem, Larry Craig is one of those subversive anomalies of the baseball-politico reality. Sure, he can pitch; but he can catch too, which makes him all the more valuable to a team going long and far down that dirt road called destiny.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As a fan, one of the most difficult parts of spring training is watching your team show up and wondering who’s going to be disgustingly out of shape and how they’re possibly going to get ready in time for the season opener. If you had David Wells reporting, you didn’t worry so much because somehow that extra weight and general aura of deep-fryer fat that emanated from him was soothing. However, when you’re a Tigers fan and Miguel Cabrera is showing up soon, you worry.
It appears that worry is misplaced, though. Not only did Cabrera show up early, he apparently has dispatched that aura of mediocrity that shadowed him throughout the beginning of last season. Fantasy Baseball blogs are touting him as one of the top first basemen and despite his slow start last season and the lack of offensive output from the Tigers as a whole, he still ended up having a career year.
However, when it comes to crap-tastic auras, there is one man who surely takes the cake. That’s right, long-time friend of RSBS, Bud Selig, was back in the news today. See, Selig wants us to know that when the steroid snafu went down, he wasn’t playing Nero and fiddling while Rome burned like we all thought. No, he was trying to sniff out the problem, attempting to stomp out the fire before it exploded into the conflagration that now rages in front of us. And of course we know this is true because the story comes from a source on the inside, from a trustworthy someone named, uh, let me see here, Bud Selig. Huh. That seems kind of weird.
We here at RSBS have often called out Mr. Selig on his general ineptitude and obvious mismanagement of the great American pastime. His ham-fisted attempts at regulation, be it contract negotiation or drug-testing, have only served to intensify the disparities in baseball. But, I think it’s about time we took this to the next level. If Mr. Selig were a dirigible, he’d be the Hindenburg. If he were a world leader of the past century, he’d be Neville Chamberlain. If Mr. Selig were a song, he’d be sung by Carly Simon. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sure he’d fire a manager for less. He’s an unapologetic and unmitigated disaster and it’s time for him to go.
Regular readers of RSBS know that I have a special place in my heart for Venezuela. And really, why not? It’s a fascinating place and lends itself to all sorts of interesting discussion. They have a wealth of oil, a wealth of baseball talent, a wealth of beauty and wealth of crazy. And since Jeff and I both share an affinity for two out of those four things it’s only fitting that RSBS take up the debate.
My partner here at RSBS pointed out in a comment on a recent post:
“The Venezuela team (including Maggs, Santana, Cabrera etc) is threatening to not compete in the WBC sighting (sic) poor per diems and lack of organization as reasons not to play.”
Now, why would elite baseball players making millions of dollars per year threaten to pull out of the World Baseball Classic over some measly travel and lodging expenses? Personally, I think it has something to do with a much deeper rooted problem endemic to Venezuela.
Yes, in a land with so much wealth the unfortunate fact is that this wealth has been unequally distributed. And I’m not talking about the oil money which has accrued in the hands of well connected elites. No, I’m talking about the fact that while Venezuelan women are beautiful and have won more beauty championships than the women from any other country, the Venezuelan men seem to have lost out in the looks department. So of course they act out via other avenues.
Luckily for them, the Venezuelan men men are eerily good baseball players. Rumor has it that El Presidente himself actually joined the military in order to make his way to Caracas and play baseball. Apparently he got a little sidetracked on the way but others among his compadres have made their way into the Major Leagues where they have had major impacts. From Carlos and Ozzie Guillen to Asdrubal and Miguel Cabrera, Venezuelan baseball players are integral to the success of many MLB teams. But they just aren’t very good looking.
So, when you’ve got talent but you look like a toad, what’s a guy to do? Well, either you move to the US and become a highly-paid baseball superstar. Or, you throw a coup, invite the whole country and hope the oil party keeps raging. Go-go-go Hugo.