Mitch said, “now, see, that there… that should’ve been a basehit.”
“The number’s lighter.”
Now that, my friends, is hilarity.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
When did Brad Lidge become such an object of disdain for this blog? I mean, Kyle Farnsworth I can understand because, well, because he’s Kyle Farnsworth. But Lidge? Yeah, maybe he’s not having a stellar season but after what he did last year, the guy deserves a little bit of a break.
Now, maybe this is easier for me to say because, as a Tigers’ fan, I routinely have to deal with the endless frustration that is Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney. I thought that Todd Jones’ retirement meant I wouldn’t have to sit on the edge of my seat anymore when we had a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
But Brad Lidge? He’s not even a Cub! I get the hatred and disgust for Milton Bradley. I approve of and advocate more of the same for Farnsworth. But Lidge? Nah. He’s no Mitch Williams. He’s not really any sort of appropriate object for scorn.
So, Mr. Lung, what gives? Why don’t you tell us what’s really going on? Did Brad Lidge not sign your baseball card? Did you write him a fan letter and he didn’t respond? Or maybe a love letter and he blew you off? Inquiring minds want to know.
Just as the homerun he gave up to Albert Pujols during the 2005 NLCS finally falls back to earth, so too does Brad Lidge’s status as an elite Major League closer. Having notched his seventh blown save of the season (by giving up a game-tying single to bonafide bust Milton Bradley no less), Lidge forces us to ask the serious question:
Who in the world is going to be fooled by that low and away slider when you throw it on the first pitch?
And then, I gotta follow up by asking:
Who in the world is going to be fooled by that right-down-central fastball you are forced to throw after they don’t swing at the low and away slider early in the count?
There was a time (it was just last year actually) when Brad Lidge was one of the most feared pitchers in the league. Nowadays he’s looking more and more like Mitch Williams circa 1997 (or Kevin Gregg today — in both cases, it ain’t good).
Lidge lucked out in that his team won it in extras but that doesn’t change the fact that he gave Cardinal fans the type of heart attack once only attributable to prospective hunting trips led by Dick Cheney (no, that will never get old). The Phillies, this year, have proven over and over again that there ain’t no such thing as a sure thing and Lidge’s once-devastating slider is definitely not a sure thing.
You want a sure thing?
Bet on an MMA fight looking at least kinda gay.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Dear readers! There is finally a reason to read a news magazine! That’s right, folks, the June 8th edition of Newsweek will be guest edited by neo-con-politico-pundit-funnyman, Stephen Colbert. Don’t know who he is? Don’t worry. Neither does Kanye. And Kanye is awesome.
Admittedly, I haven’t read Newsweek since my high school AP History class and even then I was more interested in the pictorial court drama of O.J. Simpson than the actual news, but you can bet I’m gonna read this one because no one knows faux headlines like Colbert (well, maybe Katie Couric).
And I am not alone. The buzz around this avant-garde editorial decision is already hyping the masses, which got me thinking… what kind of immediate and notorious media blitz would errupt around the interwebosphere if MLB.com allowed Mr. Krause and I (and our RSBS cronies) to guest edit its website and inform baseball fans galore on all the game’s most exciting threads.
Well, wonder no more ‘cuz we already started on the following headlines (just in case they come’a knockin’):
Fortune Teller Madame Zelda from a West Baltimore Shanty-Town Proclaims Cubs Might Win It All in 2208
…against their crosstown rival the Chicago Brewers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
ESPN to Broadcast All Royals Games for an Entire Month
…subject to blackout where good baseball teams are appreciated
Did You Know President Obama is a White Sox Fan with Muslim Roots, a White Mom and an African Dad? That’s Crazy!!!
…it really is
Beat the Streak! Accurately Predict How Many Times Milton Bradley Will Go on the Disabled List and Win Free Gift with Purchase!
…minimum purchase of $500 to be eligible
David Ortiz Is Actually Cecil Fielder
…ah, yes, now it makes sense
Vote for Your Favorite Steroid Enhanced All-Stars; Cheating Welcome!
…Hint: Select Manny Ramirez for every position, for every team, forever
Entire MLB Network Staff to Be Fired Except for Mitch Williams
…’cuz Mitch is the only one worth saving
Mitchell Report Sequel Due Out Next Spring Entitled “THE MITCHELL MINORITY REPORT”
…features the plight of a distraught and sensationalized Tom Cruise jumping on couches determined to catch only minorities using PEDs before they actually use them
Charles Barkley to Write Weekly MLB Editorial Featuring Nothing but F-Bombs and P-Drops
…why? Because we can… we want to… and we know the FCC could use the money
Please Buy Old Yankee Stadium Urinals
…’cuz we gotta pay C.C. and A.J. and Tex and A-Rod and Jeter and A-Rod’s child support and alimony and attorney fees and publicist and strippers and estranged cousin in the Dominican Republic and his child support and alimony…and….
MLB.com, if you’re reading, it’s time to give RSBS its guest editing wings and take this show to a new, exciting, frightening place. And I guarantee that, in the end, you will hate me.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If you called me an insane, obsessed, socially maladjusted freak in regards to my passion for the game of baseball, you would be absolutely correct. Try as I might to cover up the idiosyncratic ticks that put me at the top of the weird charts, there really is no denying my beyond reasonable quirkiness. In fact, baseball has long affected my dating life, my filial responsibilities, my job.
So you can imagine the worry and fear experienced by my dearest friends and loved ones when the MLB Network officially launched earlier this year. It has been alluded to that since the network aired, getting in contact with me has been harder than taking Sarah Palin seriously. This I cannot deny.
Besides getting the inside scoop on all things off-season baseball from the Hot Stove Show, shedding man-tears watching Mookie’s grounder trickle between Buckner’s legs and vehemently arguing/defending the selections of Prime 9, I have also been forced to evaluate the roots of my undying passion for our national pastime and why it means so much to me.
Which takes me back to the beginning…
Unlike many young boys, my father had very little to do with my interest in baseball. As great a man as he was (still is), he always had a calm reserve — an indifferent nature towards the game. Sure, he was a fan of sorts; but he wasn’t nuts about it in any way. His sister was. Yes, it’s all her fault. My dear Aunt Alice and her husband, Uncle Iggy, were absolutely wild about baseball and they molded me into a young, opinionated, domineering superfan at an early age.
Indeed, no two people had a greater effect on my psycho-following of the St. Louis Cardinals. They ate, slept and breathed Cardinals baseball (still do); their fiery enthusiasm infected me before I could even walk. Upon reflection, my earliest baseball memory is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s front page color photo of bedlam at Busch after the 1982 World Series. Emulating Jack Clark’s short swing and despising Don Denkinger came soon after. With the help of my aunt and uncle, it wasn’t long before I was memorizing the starting lineup of the ’85 club and dreaming of being Ozzie Smith.
My father took a backseat to this unruly creation of a Redbird child. While supportive of my decision to “go crazy, folks, go crazy” while reenacting Ozzie’s fist pump around the bases, it was clear that Dad didn’t quite understand what all the fuss was about. Despite the quizzical looks he gave when I argued to stay home and watch the game rather than go to the video arcade, he accepted the fact that his son was some kind of weirdo.
As soon as I could operate the VCR, I was recording any and every baseball game on television. During the long the winter months I watched those games with the same intensity with which I watched them the first time. Then I’d watch them again. And again and again.
“Shh. It’s Tewksbury versus Sutcliffe, Dad. Pena’s gonna throw Walton out at second. Wait and see.”
“But you’ve seen this game already.”
“I haven’t seen all of it. There’s too much going on all at once. I’m watching just Pena this time. Just Pena. Watch.”
And he would… he would placate my desire… because he saw how important it was to me.
It was very important to me.
My parents were divorced. It got ugly at times. I lived with my dad, separated from my sister, who lived with my mom a hundred miles away. While my childhood spun around in chaotic circles of arguments, misunderstandings and fear, the melodic pace and harmonic rhythm of baseball calmed me like no drug ever could: the unique sound of Tom Brunansky’s bat, a whipping line-drive snagged by Pendleton at third, a Ken Daley strikeout. No matter what the final score, baseball, with its disregard for time and its indifferent ability to create heroes and villains and bystanders, became the one constant in my life.
It kept me sane.
So it was October, 1993, and I found myself in a certain state of panic. I was a selfish 14 year old boy who couldn’t imagine missing Game 6 of the ’93 Series and I wasn’t about to be quiet about it. In Tulsa, Oklahoma at the time to cheer on my dad (a marathon runner) in the 15k Tulsa Run, my complaining escalated — eventually becoming more annoying than persuading. The race was long over, but we were not anywhere near a television; the game had started and the anticipation was killing me.
“Dad, we have to go watch the game!” I whined.
“Okay, we will.”
“No, now! We’ve already missed the first inning!”
“We will. We’ll go in a little bit. It’s just the Blue Jays and Phillies anyway —
“Just the Blue Jays and — Dad, it’s important! We have to go!”
Several shrills of suffering and an hour or so later we were finally in the comforts of a relative’s home, watching the game.
My dad rested his tired legs and read the newspaper while I glued myself to the t.v. set, still jittery, shaken, upset from missing the first five innings of play. It was 5-1 Blue Jays and Dad uttered: “See, it’s gonna be a blowout anyway, Jeff.”
I grit my teeth.
And when the Phillies went on a tear in the seventh inning, scoring five runs to take a 6-5 lead, I looked back at him and said, “This is why you can never turn off a game, Dad. Anything is possible.”
Dad managed but a glance away from his paper.
The ninth inning rolled around. I shook with nerves at the suspenseful drama, mystique, myriad possibilities. Dad was unmoved. “Game’s over, Jeff. Mitch Williams is coming in.”
“You never know, Dad. You never know. You have to watch. Just watch.”
Williams walked Rickey Henderson.
“Just watch, Dad. Please.”
Fed up with my whining, he reluctantly put his paper down just in time to see Devon White fly out.
Paul Molitor singl
Joe Carter dug in.
I heard the rustling of Dad’s newspaper again, but before he could get into the reading position I shot him a glare so vicious, so maniacal, so threatening that he had no choice but to put it back down and focus on the game… just in time to see this:
Unaffiliated with the Blue Jays, unaffiliated with the Phillies, but fully affiliated with the wondrous game of baseball, I shot to my feet and screamed like a little girl. My whole being gushed with excitement, with incredulity, with a burning sensation never before felt as Carter jumped and ran the bases.
I looked at my dad, his jaw on the floor, eyes lit up like the Skydome fireworks.
“Did you see that, Dad!?! Did you see that!?!”
“I… I saw it. I don’t believe it but I… I saw it.”
“Don’t you see, Dad? Anything’s possible.”
“I guess you’re right. Anything is possible.”
If you can dream it, it can happen.
That’s the lesson baseball taught me, the lesson Joe Carter taught my dad, the lesson that comes from having a father who believes in you…
I love you, Dad. And don’t forget… you can’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. You said it yourself on October 23, 1993.