If you were to build the ideal baseball player, you probably wouldn’t come up with Dustin Pedroia. He’s too small and he just doesn’t look like how a ballplayer should look. Likewise, you probably wouldn’t come up with CC Sabathia either. Dude has a huge gut and looks like a whale.
Most likely, if you were constructing the ideal baseball player, you’d come up with someone like Kyle Farnsworth, all six-and-a-half worthless feet of him. Of course, you’d also then be saddled with his contract and seemingly uncanny ability to melt down in important games.
So why is it that Farnsworth is an object of ridicule (at least here at RSBS) while Pedroia is a former MVP and Sabathia is one of the most consistently good pitchers in baseball? Well, it’s the same reason that Jeremy Lin happened in the US of A and could never happen in China. It’s the intangibles that make athletes great and if there’s one thing that we do well in America, it’s the intangibles.
You can have your Yao Mings and your Kyle Farnsworths. Me, I’ll take my Cecil Fielders and David Wells. And I bet you ten yuan I’ll win.
During the playoffs and the brief period between the end of the baseball season and the handing out of the postseason awards, the debate raged about whether or not Verlander would or indeed should win both the Cy Young and the MVP. There are those who I’m sure continue to claim that since the pitchers have their own award, they should not be considered for the MVP award. I have only one thing to say to that:
Happy Friday! The weekend starts now.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
The RSBS crew celebrates its 30th episode by taking a stroll down podcast memory lane, remembering things that busted our (and hopefully your) guts. AIDS salad and Ron Santo’s memory get rehashed while new memories (like gay ponies v. horsicorns, an iguana named Dudley and how you can cure your foot problems) are created! Jump on board the RSBS crazy train! No stops til you question how you spend your free time!
Don’t forget to getcho Crown Royal and enjoy some happy time!
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Recorded Saturday, November 26, 2011
The Drah-mah in Bahhhh-ston
Leave it to the Red Sox to be all dramatified in the offseason. As if their 2010 free agent signing flop and subsequent September fail-to-the-finish that included video games, fried chicken and an “Adios, Tito!” (let’s leave the beer out of this, shall we?) wasn’t enough drama for one year, they had to go and add to the pile by involving Bobby Valentine in their managerial search. Don’t get me wrong. I love Bobby V and I really hope he gets the job ‘cuz he’s a bad@ss whose mere presence makes the league better (and more entertaining); but he also comes packin’ drama. And the fact that the owners interviewed him before allowing new GM Ben Cherington to have his say suggests that the drama between ownership and the front office will continue to rival that of its on-the-field representation.
Pepper Spray: “It’s a Food Product, Essentially”
Fox News host Megyn Kelly should consider a move to the Food Network. I think spraying Emeril Lagasse with a jumbo-sized canister of pepper spray would add some much needed tension to their programming. And besides, pepper spray is “a food product, essentially”.
At a time when a Lil Wayne-impersonating white dude from Pittsburgh is tops on the music charts — in effect CRUSHING my hope for a revival of real, genuine rap music — I would like to personally thank the Toronto Blue Jays for coming back to earth, for finally being real. When you have a classic look, there’s never a reason to change it. The Yankees have managed this. So have the Cardinals. Sure they update to keep up with trends, but the core design never changes. The Blue Jays had one of the classiest, cleanest, most memorable unis in all of baseball.
And then they changed it all for… black and gray?
It’s good to see them making good decisions again.
We have many reasons to be thankful this time of year. Of course Jeff is still aglow from the Cardinals winning the World Series and I still get a heart flutter when I think back to the final out between the Tigers and Yankees. Add in Verlander’s Cy Young and MVP awards and how could I not be a grateful person?
But more than that, we are thankful for all of our readers who make writing this blog so much fun. And of course, we’d like to show you how grateful we are by sharing our gift from the Pass the Crown contest. If you haven’t already sent a picture to RSBSblog@gmail.com showing why you’re RSBS‘s biggest fan, there’s still time to do so.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us and please try to stay out of mom’s way unless you know what you’re doing.
Throw the Spaghetti in the Machine.
I’m a burning bush. I’m a wildfire. I’m singing in the rain and dancing again. Like Tim Tebow, I have a big god. BIGGER THAN ZEUS. I can put away my Club Confidential and stop pleasuring myself while crying. My iguana, Dudley, is beside himself too. We’re throwing confetti on each other, plowing through our best box of wine and eating marshmallows off the floor. For at least one week we’ll stop throwing flares at cars, getting arrested on our skateboards and falling asleep in alleys.
Because, for once, baseball took an unconventional route and picked fire-fire -flame-flame tapdancing bad@ss Justin Verlander as MVP. When we lost Buster Posey early in the season, Dudley and I had to act fast to find a baller we could have an unhealthy OBSESSION over; and Justin was our guy. He was the Hannibal Lecter to our Clarice. We even bought a special chianti.Dudley and I rarely missed a Verlander start. In between great Chrysler ads, he sat on my lap as we watched the Motown hero pitch deep into games, mystifying hitters, dropping jaws like change-ups. He was like Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler when he came back to take down Minnesota Fats. Nailed every rail. Hit every spot. Geometry and speed to perfection. (Fitting that Minnesota is in the AL Central too. See what I did there?)
It would have been easy to pick an everyday player like Granderson or Ellsbury. Sure, they had splendid seasons. But this was the year where a starter — the first since Roger Clemens — gave everything needed and CARRIED a team to the playoffs.
While defense in football can be boring, pitching and defense in baseball… I LIVE FOR IT. I wasn’t around for Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Wasn’t alive yet. But I love when the game offers pitchers whose starts you just can’t miss. When Pedro Martinez was in his prime I would’ve rather eaten my dinner off a urinal than miss a start.
And for next year? I’m looking at you, Stephen Strasburg. Throw the spaghetti in the machine and eat the children…
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When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the small minded bands that kept them from voting the same superhuman as both Cy Young winner and MVP, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
What better way to celebrate the return of contemporary television’s greatest comedic achievement than to steal one of its taglines for an hyperbolic thrashing of the MLB seasonal awards?
That’s what I thought.
American League Cy Young
Um… no brainer, y’all. Justin FRACKING Verlander. Anything else is just… stupid. And dumb. And Cubbish.
American League Most Valuable Player
Though my repugnant and oft pedantic colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, would like you to believe Mr. Verlander is the “most valuable” to his team, let’s not lose sight of what’s really going on here. You can argue semantics all you want, Mr. Krause, but we all know that the MVP is reserved for a position player. How do we know this? Because the pitchers ALREADY HAVE THEIR OWN AWARD. And that, my friends, is a deal breaker! So the MVP goes to Curtis Granderson. Close your eyes and imagine the Yankees without him this year. Scurry, ain’t it!?!
National League Cy Young Award
Halladay or Kershaw or Halladay or Kershaw or Halladay or… wait, Kershaw? It’s a fine line. And my gut says Kershaw; however, upon further review (and I know using stats from 2010 isn’t fair, but who says I’m fair?), in a galaxy far, far away, Adam Dunn took Kershaw deep. Twice. In one game. And THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER. Congratulations, Roy Halladay. Again.
National League Most Valuable Player
My instincts say Ryan Braun deserves this award BUT Ryan Braun is a Brewer and yep, that’s a deal breaker! So Matt Kemp, come on down! In fact, if Lance Berkman hadn’t done such a nice job, I might also hand Kemp the Comeback Player of the Year Award because, let’s face it, compared to ’09 and ’11, he was nothing short of regurgitated fecal matter last year. Think about it.
Yes, they have other awards too, like, Manager of the Year, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, etc… but honestly, who cares? Quick, name the 1989 National League Manager of the Year. See, you can’t. ‘Cuz nobody cares (it was the Cubs’ Don Zimmer).
And if nobody cares, well, then THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER!
Hate me, it’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
“All I can tell you is, I wish I had a dime for every dime I had.”
To commemorate my hopeful demise of the mighty money juggernaut that is the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to use one of the greatest films ever conceived to explain my feelings for this occasion.
I’m also here to remind the world of the hurt and pain that Russell Brand caused me by pissing on my childhood by remaking this classic. BASTARDDOOOO.
The Red Sox are falling apart. The Tampa Bay Rays are in pursuit of the wild card and I couldn’t be happier. At the beginning of the season, I, like the rest of the baseball universe, had the Sox winning it all. That being said, I love this Rays team. I’ve loved the last three or four Rays teams. LOVE Joe Maddon. He almost makes me like Florida. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate tha SAWKSSS. I’m just a bit tired of everything Boston. NO MORE BOSTON!! No more Red Sox! The Town, Conviction, Gone Baby Gone, the Patriots, The Departed, Ben Affleck doing Madden ads. I NEED A FAWWWWWWWWKIINNNNN BREAK!!!
“If you and your undershirt will walk two paces backwards, I could enter this dwelling.”
Oh yea. Forgot about Edge of Darkness, The Fighter, and Danny fawwwwwwkkkinnnn Woodhead!!!! I feel like I have had a Fenway Frank shoved up my giggy for the last ten years.
“I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I am my own boss.”
Theo Epstein’s bright idea was to punch in Erik Betard. BRILLIANT? No. Can Jon Lester be everywhere at once? Josh Beckett is hurty. The BLOWN RANGER! John Lackey is awful. This staff is not quite in dire straits but…
“Ladies and gentlemen… I’m sorry… As you probably have surmised by now… there will be no wedding. The bride… has had second thoughts… and has decided not to marry me… Most of you know me… Can you blame her?”
Carl Crawford has been my personal joy killer. One of my favorite players of the last seven years, he hasn’t quite been worth the money. Hitting third in this lineup has been a problem. He’s a leadoff hitter!
“Isn’t this fun? Isn’t fun the best thing to have? Don’t you wish you were me? I know I do.”
The rise of Jacoby Ellsbury has been nothing short of TRANSCENDENT — an absolute bright spot. And I couldn’t be happier for the kid who has struggled through injuries. He or Curtis Granderson would be fine choices for MVP. (I’m sorry, Verlander.)
And now, one last fleeting thought for my beloved Cubs. Both Sox teams have won championships and so have the current champ Giants. My thoughts on this?
Gloria: My mother died when I was six.
Arthur: [bangs his fist on the table] Son of a bitch! Don’t they know what they do to kids?
Gloria: My father raped me when I was twelve.
Arthur: So, you had six relatively good years? I’m sorry. Listen, my father screwed me, too.
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Although there’s still half a month to go before the postseason, many sportswriters have already moved beyond the silly question of who will face whom in the playoffs and onto the much more serious inquiry of who deserves the upcoming postseason awards. Things are a bit tricky this year, especially in the AL, where the debate over the future MVP hinges on how people define valuable. Bill Simmons tackled the question in a recent piece and I tend to think he came up with the right formula.
For me, it comes down to one simple question. What one person, if he hadn’t been playing for a team, would have been the biggest loss over the course of the season? Clearly I’m a little biased but could anyone really imagine the Tigers where they are right now without Justin Verlander? It’s not just about Verlander’s individual success. It’s also the fact that he took an underachieving team, hefted them up on his shoulder and said, “Like it or not, we’re going to win and I’m going to show you how.” That’s not just value, that’s some straight-up Nietzschean will to power.
The case could be made for other players who at least have a shot at the award. And although we all know that pitching wins championships, a very real prejudice against pitchers exists when it comes to the MVP. But no matter how the rest of the season plays out, there’s no way the Tigers are leading the AL Central in mid-September without Justin Verlander. Show me another player who’s more valuable than that.