The NBA Draft was held Thursday night, and in contrast to years previous, this one seemed to be less about an influx of young players and more about the Shaq sextape sized elephant in the room. Because by now, I think we all know that a lockout is coming, the next season might never be, and hearts will definitely be broken.
And the sadness doesn’t stop there. Think about the players who will suddenly be without work, with no pay. Will they be forced to drive Kias instead of Bentleys? Forced to drink Red Label instead of Blue? Have sex with their wives rather than the band of groupies hanging outside the team bus?
If you think professional basketball players will be able to just find work elsewhere, like the rest of us Joe Six-Packs would be forced to do, you might want to rethink the way the world works. Here, let Washington Wizards point guard, John Wall, prove my point:
The truth is, ya get these guys off the court and… well, things can get ugly.
Here’s hoping the NBA learns some valuable lessons from its MLB brethren, before it’s too late.
Jeff!!! I loved your pictures from Nats park and I’m psyched that you
got to see Strasburg. I also saw that you’ve been to Sox park and
Wrigley recently. What’s your favorite ballpark that you’ve already
visited and which place would you like to see the most?
After a fiery, bloody internal debate that lasted well over an hour, I finally decided not to begin addressing this query by postulating what one would find if he/she were to actually venture to Manassas, VA… ‘cuz I’m pretty sure one can find Man-assas (a$$e$?) anywhere… including ballparks all across US America.
Still got it, folks.
Okay, maybe not.
But it doesn’t matter… and neither does the ballpark, Caitlin. What matters is the game. Sure Busch hosts my boys, Wrigley’s nostalgic, Nats Park has Ben’s Chili Bowl and Sox Park is a good place to pick up Latin Queens; but to be honest, I can find something positive about any and every ballpark I ever go to. And I’ve been to many.
My favorite random ballpark story is the one about the Oakland Coliseum. I happened to be in San Francisco on business. It was a Saturday night and I had nothing to do, so I hopped on the BART to Oakland, walked up to the ticket counter at the Coliseum and said, “I got forty bucks. Where can I sit for that?”
“In a good seat, Honey.” said the kind ticket lady.
Ten minutes later I’m sitting behind homeplate on the first tier above ground level and I can hear Nick Swisher’s awful jokes with my own ears. Ten minutes after that and I have a Fat Tire in my hand (at the ballpark!) and a few hours after that I was sufficiently drunk off the seductive elixir of the game itself.
And that can happen anywhere.
Though there is one place in particular that I just gotta go to, before it goes back to just hosting football games:
(Chewbacca image via 9GAG)
And so in this Podcast…
Dear readers galore FINALLY get to meet THE one, the ONLY, Mr. Allen Krause as he joins Jeff and Johanna to discuss all things urgent, all things necessary. And it’s all made possible by science. And hard work. And Skype. Judge for yourself. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Strasburg as Jesus, the difference between anathema and an enema (it’s important), starting a Pete Rose for US WBC Team Player/Manager petition on Facebook, Gallaraga’s thingy, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much,
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast
podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard
Recorded Wednesday, June 23, 2010
And this is what we learned:
President Obama has balls… showing up in a Sox hat
Allen hates the wave
Fair-weather Nats fans are led by a massive group of IBM consultants who can’t keep their mouths shut during the game
Allen hates IBM consultants who can’t keep their mouths shut during the
Stephen Strasburg’s ears ARE that big
Chili Cheese Half Smokes from Ben’s Chili Bowl = Good. The day AFTER Chili Cheese Half Smokes from Ben’s Chili Bowl = NOT so good.
Friday night games at Nats Park always end with a kick@ss fireworks show
Allen hates fireworks
We begin (as we often do when it comes to failure) in our nation’s capitol where the former Montreal Expos put on an exposition all their own the other evening. I could explain the premise of the story but I think this one quote just about sums it up: “…if there’s one thing we all can agree upon, it’s that exploding hot dog buns are high comedy indeed.” How can you top that? Well, maybe by spelling the name of your own team incorrectly on your jersey. But seriously guys, please keep it coming.
However, the farcical comedy stylings of the Washington Nationals pale in comparison to the tragi-comedy of the Chicago White Sox. Sure, they play in a mediocre division so they’re never really going to be out of it but they took a beating and a half yesterday afternoon. It all started when the Twins plated 20 runs to the Sox’ one and just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the always eloquent Ozzie Guillen’s managed to jinx the impending Jake Peavy trade. Let me refresh your memory. Following the loss Guillen said, “I hope Peavy didn’t watch the scoreboard today. He might say no.”
Well Ozzie, you sure nailed that one. Maybe Peavy watched the scoreboard and maybe he didn’t but either way, he won’t be suiting up in Chicago pinstripes anytime soon.
So that’s where we stand as May slowly draws to a close. But don’t worry, the Nationals are still out there and it’s only a matter of time before they manage to outdo themseleves once again. My guess? Teddy Roosevelt gets decapitated in the President’s Race on Kid’s Day at the ballpark. Once again ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Washington Nationals!
–Thanks to SLK for the link to the Nats story.
This weekend we saw a series pitting the team with the best record in
the league against the team with the worst record. At what point in the
season do you think we’ll see this again and which teams will take part
the next time around?
As long as the Washington Nationals continue to be a baseball franchise (sorta), you can be quite sure that this scenario will pop up once again. Will they be playing the MLB best Cardinals next time? The Dodgers? The Blue Jays in June during interleague play?
The truth is: I have absolutely no clue.
Because so far nothing this season has been on my radar: that the Cardinals’ piecemeal bullpen could hold itself together through April… that the Blue Jays would find a way to win in the AL East… that no one wants Pedro Martinez…
But in the end, one thing will always remain certain: The Washington Nationals are a national joke.
After some hardcore number-crunching analysis, one might conclude that their suckage is rooted in their inherent identity crisis:
- Are we the Expos?
- Are we the Senators who are now the Twins?
- Are we the Nationals who were the Expos?
- Are we the other Senators who are now the Rangers?
Or perhaps it stems from their dizzying closet of uniform combinations:
Dear readers, I could go in a million different directions with that snafu of a baseball bodega — none of them good — but I will save you (and myself) from the certain discomfort and unpleasant visualization it would cause.
Whatever the reason for the Nationals’ lack of success, I must admit how sad it was for me — as a baseball fan — to see such a beautiful ballpark only a quarter full for a Friday night game. It was disappointing too that there were more Cardinal fans in attendance than Nats fans and that the loudest cheers I heard all weekend were in response to the Capitals vs. Penguins playoff hockey game — the favorable D.C. score of which was posted on the jumbotron in between innings, thus rousing Washingtonians into a fervent coup d’etat aimed towards building a bigger hockey arena while at the same time finding a more thirsty suitor for the oh-so-lowly Nats, all of their prior nicknames, logos and dysfunctional sausages.
So far, no takers.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Senators Sausages image courtesy of Wonkette)
(Uniform image courtesy of Wikipedia)
Jeff’s weekend visit to our nation’s capitol got off to a wild start at
Nationals’ Park as every run scored via home run. And if that wasn’t
enough, Jeff’s not-so-secret man-crush, Albert Pujols, came up a triple
short of hitting for the cycle. But despite all that, there was really only one truly revelatory event during the game.
See, there’s a moment in a baseball game when your clean-up hitter steps to the plate and a song fills the park as it blasts out of the speakers. At this moment the opposing team feels a little shiver of fear and the crowd leans forward in anticipation. Unless you step up to Phil Collins belting out “I can feel it coming in the air tonight.” At that point it’s fair to say that fear is probably not what your opponent is feeling.
Ladies and gentlemen, Adam Dunn and your 2009 Washington Nationals!
If I were making $126 million over seven years for a team that invested its future in me assuming I would be the one to anchor its pitching staff, I think I would probably focus on being a good pitcher.
But if it’s Barry Zito in that position — which it is — apparently none of that is important.
Dear readers, welcome to Zito’s World: a super hip fantasyland where losing 30 games in two seasons with a 4.84 ERA is worth every penny of that $126 million; a place where winning games in April is never a priority; an imaginative mirage where baseball meets Hollywood starlet meets aspiring rock star meets absolute shock that people would be just a wee bit vocal about his seemingly laissez faire attitude.
Look, there is no question that I have been a staunch critic of Mr. Zito. Yes, I suggested his 2007 and 2008 pitching woes were rooted in his unprofessional preoccupation with movie star female companionship. Yes, I coined the phrase “Zito Happens”. Yes, I poked fun at his childish, uncensored Tweets which made him look foolish — pining for “cab cakes”.
But none of that seems to warrant the fact that Barry Zito — the millionaire pitcher who up to this point hasn’t done a very good job of making good on that Scott Boras super-contract — blocked me from his Twitter account.
Juvenile as his actions are, I still cannot help but chuckle. I mean, here I am lowly Joe Six-Pack, unpaid aspiring writer, committed MLBlogger and informed baseball fanatic, trying to get seen, be heard, find a voice…. and Barry Zito does me the grandiose favor of reading what I write and hating it enough to block me from his 10,000 plus following.
Now, I understand that being a multi-millionaire, playing the greatest game on earth for a living and personifying the American dream is probably really hard on the soul, Barry, but come on, don’t you think you deserve it? Just a little bit maybe? Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Man up, Barry. Get over yourself. Do your job and people like me will have no choice but to shut up.
Until then, you will remain back-page fodder for the masses.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
P.S. Barry may have blocked me from following him on Twitter, but I can still access his Tweets and laugh because they look like they’re written by a 12 year old as they tend to focus on the importance of Radiohead, farting in the shower and men layering with scarves. Nice work, Barry. Nice work.
P.S.S. Despite the aforementioned aggravation I am experiencing from Zito’s actions, I am still living a good life, visiting Washington D.C., hanging out with one of my best friends and co-author Allen, ready to see the Cardinals play the Nats tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Heading over to the White House now. Pics/Story to follow.
During the past week we watched the opening of two new multi-million
dollar stadiums in New York City and during this time MLB and the major
sports channels more or less ignored everything else going on around
the league. Was the opening of the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
really such important news or was Heath Bell accurate in saying that
ESPN and other providers are completely focused on a few teams to the
detriment of the rest of the league?
Pardon me for being a-holishly frank, dear readers, but I think it is pretty damn sad that it took Heath Bell (of all reinvented people) to bring the media’s obvious love affair with New York and Boston into the public domain. Nothing against, Heath, who has now become my own personal savior for his ESPN remarks, but we here at RSBS as well as myriad Joe Six-Packs in sports bars galore all across Anytowns, US America, have been harping on this oh-so-blatant injustice for years now.
Heath Bell said:
“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and
Yankees and Mets – and nobody else. That’s why I like the MLB Network, because they promote everybody. I’m
really turned off by ESPN and ‘Baseball Tonight.’ When Jake Peavy threw
8 1/3 innings on Saturday, they showed one pitch in the third inning
and that was it. It’s all about the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.”
True story, Heath. True story.
Just for the record, regarding the two new ballparks in New York (one of which cost $1.5 billion) let me just say that I don’t remember there being such a fuss over the new Busch Stadium or PNC Park or even Nationals Park for that matter.
Yet all week long I have been bombarded with information I could care less about:
- The first homerun in new Yankee Stadium.
- The first multi-RBI game at CITI Field.
- The first blab-hole jerkazoid kicked out of new Yankee Stadium for using foul language and fists to explain his innermost self-loathing while watching the Indians score 14 runs in one inning.
I don’t care.
And I ain’t alone.
The good news is, Heath Bell’s voice was heard and ESPN reacted quickly by having him on Baseball Tonight. Shortly after that, the once monopolizing baseball program introduced it’s 30 Team Ticker, which offers tidbits of information on all 30 teams at the bottom of the screen while the analysts blab on about how much they love the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.
But just like the leaderless GOP of 2008 desperately trying to reinvent its image after devastating the public by dropping the ball in New Orleans and Iraq while allowing the economy to collapse over and over again… it was just too little, too late.
Folks, we have a choice. Join Al and I; heed Heath Bell’s call.
Switch to the MLB Network. Enjoy equal coverage. Play the RSBS Harold Reynolds drinking game.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The level of ineptitude at the Washington Nationals franchise astounds both lifelong and casual fans. I’m not just talking about the players and their approximately 45 errors in one inning on Tuesday night. I’m not just talking about hitting the lead-off batter with the third pitch of the game. No, it gets even worse. On top of having a totally horrifically terrible team, the Nats also have possibly the worst grounds crew in baseball. I had the opportunity to see this first hand on Tuesday night.
I had settled in to my seats in right field and prepared to eat the wonderful hotdog and chili cheese fries sitting in front of me when I noticed the biggest, darkest cloud I had ever seen rolling in. The umps decided to start the game anyway but soon the rain came in and I watched the first three innings from underneath an umbrella. Finally, the umps realized that the puddles on the field were impeding play and the lightning was getting dangerously close so they called a rain delay. I sat tight, hoping the rain would pass but it eventually got to be too much:
So, I migrated to a new perch underneath an overhang and watched as the comedy of errors unfolded.
First, it took way too long to get the tarp down. Then, they didn’t lay it out correctly. But the real fun was when they tried to get it back up after the delay finished. As the Cardinals’ starter, Kyle Lohse, said, “I don’t want to get down on the grounds crew but maybe they could tighten up a little bit next time.” Yeah, it was that bad. Somehow the process involved flipping the tarp, flipping it in another direction, flipping it once again and then folding it up. At one point the tarp was upside down in right field and it appeared that a hippie colony might be using it as a tent.
However, the crew finally got it together and made it off the field as the game started back up….which lasted about another inning until it started raining again. And the grounds crew came back out. At that point, it just wasn’t worth it anymore so I headed home.
The coda to this story is that a friend of mine was on the DC Metro a couple days later and was standing near a person who works on the grounds crew. This was particularly funny because the game was already in progress and they were just then heading in. But anyway, this person was explaining that no one ever shows up on time, if they even show up at all. They then went on to explain how they were coming in the next day to sell some homemade food to other members of the crew but they weren’t actually going to be working. I have a feeling I know what that food is. Brownies anyone?