It’s nothing personal. Really. Halos fans are cool. And when I lived in SoCal, one of my favorite things to do was head on down to the Big A. But this has nothing to do with the Angels or their fans and everything to do with her.
I am over her. I am. We had our good times, and yeah, she broke my heart into a bazillion little pieces, but it’s over now. I’ve been over it.
For a while now.
It’s just that running into her during the playoffs — seeing how shiny and beautiful and happy she is with another man — well, just the idea of it happening like that so fast makes me want to puke. And while I’m sure there will be a time when seeing her prosper will not make me dizzy with envy, that time is not now.
Like any good book, the baseball season unfolds as a series of intriguing stories. Mike Trout. Bryce Harper. The Baltimore Orioles. The Boston sell-off. ROIDS!!! These are all striking plot lines that draw us in, forcing us to check Twitter and MLB Trade Rumors and MLB Tonight as often as Mr. Krause uses a 5-year old picture of me looking like a goof.
Yet, at the end of the season, after the World Champions have been crowned, the champagne has been drunk and Ozzie Guillen has said something unintelligible on live television, I firmly believe that the biggest story of the year could be the complete reversal of what up until a few weeks ago looked like a major headline grabber.
That’s right. I’m talking to you, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Not even International Talk Like A Pirate Day could save loyal baseball fans in the Steel City from wanting to bring back the brown paper bags from the last 19 years.
With the losses on Wednesday and Thursday, the Pirates find themselves back where they belong, with a losing record.
It’s sad, right? I guess. No. I know. It is sad. But for a realist like me, it was also predictable. The Pirates doing well would be a surprise. Seeing them sink back into loserdom is not.
Speaking of losers, you are not one today, my friend. In fact, you just won! What did you win? Well, I can’t leave you feeling so sad on a Friday… so here are 18 glorious minutes of bloopers from The Office.
As we enter the beginning of the most exciting time of year (baseball playoffs and football season and an election, oh my!), I think it’s important that we keep in perspective that which brings us the most joy. Sure, hosting a Guinness keg party while dressed in my Yadier Molina jersey flanked by the Shannon twins is pretty much the happiest day of my life (that hasn’t happened yet but might), I still know that even if all that other stuff falls through, I will always have baseball.
And sometimes, within the game of baseball, we can find something much simpler that pushes the happy button. I know a lot of folks have been wrapped up in the admirable and impressive play of Mike Trout. People are just as infatuated with his grace and dominance as I
was am infatuated with Stephen Strasburg and all things Strasmas. It’s the little injections of youthful awesomesauce that often remind us why we love baseball so much. It is a kid’s game after all.
But sometimes waiting for the next big thing isn’t necessary. I have found that out this year by following Coco Crisp very closely. My history with Crisp has been one of hilarity, peppered with some dazzle. And while his offensive numbers may not hypnotize scouts, enough can never be said about how he plays the game.
He plays hard. He plays to win. He’s in on every pitch and he goes balls-to-the-wall. In fact, I have gotten to the point where I’m watching replays of his relay throws and conducting frame-by-frame analysis on his routes to fly balls.
If I could get to Oakland, I’d rather watch Crisp long-toss than Cesepedes take BP.
Okay, so maybe I’m lyin’ a little bit in that last sentence, but one thing is for certain: Coco Crisp’s defensive play is worth focusing on and if you focus long enough, you’re probably going to see something that puts a smile on your face. Maybe even an afro.
Who is the man with the masterplan?
Good question, Jake! And the answer isn’t as easy as one Dr. Dre would lead you to believe.
Honestly, it’s hard to just pick one person and say he’s the man with the masterplan. And since we here at RSBS like to avoid being too categorical, I’m going to give you a list of possibilities and let you decide.
First we turn to the world of baseball. Here, you could say it’s the Washington Nationals, the former laughingstock of the league who now find themselves with the second best record in baseball, who are the man. Or, how about the Cincinnati Reds with the best record in baseball? Even that would be ignoring the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, although several games behind the Reds, are still in wildcard contention. The Pirates?!
If that’s too vague for you, we could always try to drill down a little and offer up some individuals. You can’t spit these days without hitting some news about Mike Trout. However, at only 20 years old, it’s a little hard to say that he’s the man with the masterplan. The same could be said of Stephen Strasburg, although the Nationals’ plan to limit his innings this season could be seen as a masterplan…..or a master cock-up if it costs them a playoff spot or a deep playoff run.
When you say masterplan, though, that seems to be a bit more global than just Major League Baseball. This sounds more like it requires worldwide dominance in which case we should turn our eyes toward London and the Olympic games. The obvious choices here are the US Men’s basketball team who unfortunately seemed almost human against the Lithuanians and Michael Phelps, the Midas of swimming who has a knack for turning almost everything gold.
However, it also doesn’t hurt to look a bit further afield. For instance, how about a man who dabbles in and dominates a field of pseudo-gymnastics. That’s right. Olympic men’s trampoline champion, Dong Dong. With a name like that and the current title-holder as World and Olympic champion, it’s hard to say he’s not the man with the masterplan.
I want to hate Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Maybe if they played for the Tigers I’d love them but two guys that young, that talented and that successful who aren’t on my team? Honestly, I really want to dislike them.
With Trout it’s a little harder because somehow he comes across as a good guy and great teammate despite only being 20 years old. Harper, it’s a little easier because he’s even younger, bro’ed out and he knows he’s good. That kind of self-assuredness often comes off as cockiness and that makes it easier to hate someone.
Yeah, I really want to hate these guys, especially Harper, and I feel like I made an honest effort at it. Sadly, it kind of went like this:[youtube http://youtu.be/NY4xE9rAY8k]
I can’t help it. I’m hooked.
April counts, yo! And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!
The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball. And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back! Let’s hope they are back to stay.
The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say? Not so fast. I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ’em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting. And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox. I LOVE IT!!! The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.
The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew). Onwards and upwards!
The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately? I’ve been watching them almost every day! THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks. Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party! As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.
The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good! If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.
The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league. Chipper Jones too. Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air. Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited! As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders. We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations. But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.
And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…
ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year. But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted. HOLLA!!! And buy me a drink!
Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff, Allen, Johanna and Second City’s Mark Piebenga knock off the winter rust and gear up for what looks like a fantastically competitive 2011 season. Besides being racy, risque and borderline offensive (or, just plain offensive), the topics of discussion include but are not limited to the best orange juice of all time, Michael Young’s precarious situation, Major League collisions and much, much more… all to make you happy face!
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. You can experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at Undercard Films. Keith is a hot topic right now! Not only is he filming that cool baseball doc, but now he’s got some commercial gigs from the Undercast, AND he’s investing in fleshlights! Pay him a visit!
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Recorded Saturday, January 29, 2011