Gordon Beckham’s triumphant entrance into Major League Baseball did not come without supreme sacrifice. To make room for the rookie phenom, Chicago White Sox suits were forced to say goodbye to one of their greatest unknown infielder journeymen: Wilson “I Signed with the Braves When I Was 14 Years Old” Betemit.
Like the hopes and dreams of Cub fans during a National League Division Series, so too was Wilson hastily gone from this fair Second City of ourn. And, unfortunate was I, having not had a chance to offer my official farewells to old number 15.
So here I lie my scornful lament, for a better place than this there is not to vent…
No one ever wore Chris Sabo glasses so restless and so sleazy,
Your name is mispronounced, your voice all but groused, and your slide into second makes me queasy.
Traded with Marquez and Nunez for Swisher and K. Teixera,
Your batting average with the White Sox was as dry as the Sahara,
You came from the Dominican, with the attitude of Gilligan, and stats from the dead-ball era.
From the Braves to the Dodgers to the Yanks to the Sox,
To the streets of designated assignment buried deep beneath the rocks,
Remember we cared, remember all that we shared, but in the end you were let go ‘cuz you su<k.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
During my high school days there was this kid who caused quite a bubble of interest everywhere he went. A by all means normal, good-lookin’ dude, this guy was the essence of cool, the poster-child of charm, the cliche of class.
He had money. Nice car. Designer jeans.
Yet despite all of those wonderful attributes — both material and physical — no matter how hard he tried, the kid just couldn’t get right.
He failed school. He drove under the influence. He burned down his own house.
Nowadays, at 30 years old, you can find him living in his parents’ basement, driving his half-totaled IROC-Z with T-Tops back and forth to a running jape of part-time service industry jobs which require little more than a heartbeat.
And every time I see the Yankees, dear readers, I can’t help but think of him.
Because no matter how hard they try, the New York Yankees just can’t get right.
Excessive amounts of money, $1.5 billion new stadium, marquee pitching… and still, those damn Yankees can’t beat the Red Sox, best the Royals’ win total or avoid the onslaught of negative press that follows Alex Rodriguez around like Jose Molina does an all-you-can-eat buffet.
It is sad, folks, really sad when the most positive headlines from the Yankees’ young season include the following:
- Nick Swisher as Offensive Powerhouse
- Damaso Marte Injured; Physically Unable to Allow His Typical 5 Runs per Appearance
- Joe Girardi’s Excuse: I Am as Dumb as I Look
Jimmy Dugan may have said “there’s no crying baseball”, but he didn’t say jack about burning down your own house. And so far, the Yanks are doing a mighty fine job of that!
I mean, don’t get me wrong, a 13-12 record ain’t all that bad, but in the Evil Empire, you might as well be winless.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Now, when you read that title you probably thought I was referring to the well-reviewed, over-hyped and altogether underwhelming book written several years ago by Ms. Arundhati Roy. But that’s not it. In fact, I hate that book. Seriously, it’s a two minute story that takes her 200 pages to tell. The girl died and India has a lot of problems. Why not just say that? I mean, get to the point all ready. You’re not Proust and I’m not impressed….uh, where was I? Oh, right. The god of small things. See, in my world this refers to something much simpler: the joy that can be taken from seemingly insignificant events that come to mean something more.
The past week has been replete with these sorts of happenings. As a fan of the Tigers I can’t help but be tickled by Brandon Inge’s early season heroics. Homeruns in each of the first three games? Stellar defense? What’s not to love? I don’t expect this continue all season long but these small things keep us going.
Similarly, despite my intense dislike of the Yankees, I still enjoyed Nick Swisher’s inning on the mound. It doesn’t hurt when the deficit is double digits and the Rays are going all Dresden on the Yankees’ sorry ^sses. But I enjoy watching a guy like Swisher volunteer for an unenviable task like that. The fact that he ended up with far and away the best ERA on the team only adds to my enjoyment.
Even little things like knowing how much Jeff must have been squirming while the Pirates beat up his Cardinals on opening day gives me a thrill. However, my plan today is to return the favor, to introduce you all to the god of small things. And here it is, courtesy of YouTube. You don’t have to like the song or the format but you can’t help but smile when a dowdy, middle-aged woman who only asks to be given a chance finally gets it. Enjoy!
-Video via The Daily Dish
Let’s get something straight, folks. Despite the stigmatic undertones preached by the Dear Abbys of the world, it is perfectly acceptable to attend social events by one’s self. While I wouldn’t recommend showing up alone to your own wedding, taking in a baseball game by yourself is absolutely respectable — cool even. It shows confidence and a maverick persona.
And when Ken Griffey, Jr. — one of the greatest to ever play the game — arrives in your city to play for a team you support and respect (against the dreaded Tigers no less), you show up, with or without company.
I find that going to games by myself allows me to focus more on the game. I don’t have to chitchat, don’t have to get up and get food or beer for anyone; I can simply watch the game. Wholeheartedly.
Doing so causes one to become inexplicably introspective… to be alone with his/her thoughts… to flounder in the ethos that is the grandest game on earth.
And this is what I learned:
Will-Call Kiosks Should Be Open to Those Who Bought WILL-CALL Tickets:
The supposed perk of buying your tickets ahead time is that you don’t have to stand in line with thousands of sweaty, unprepared, drunk Tiger fans. I get to the game early so I can take in the sights, smells, women… to mentally prepare for the magic — not to stand in line for 45 minutes. So, White Sox Ticket Sales Operations Manager: please turn the Ticketmaster kiosks back on.
Everybody Still Hates Magglio Ordonez:
The greatest player who never was while wearing a White Sox jersey, Maggs definitely brings out the boo-birds like no one else. Oh-ee-oh… Maaaaaa-gli-o! Oh-ee-oh… Hope he has security at his hotel (if you want to know what hotel he’s staying in, email me 😉
If You Show Up to a Sox Game in 2008 Wearing an Albert Belle, Ray Durham or Sammy Sosa Jersey, You Are NOT Cool:
Seriously, folks. Let’s be real. And no, a Scott Podsednik jersey is not acceptable either. You want a sure thing? Go for a Hall of Famer or a retired jersey. Baines, Fisk, Minoso, Aparicio. Heck, go for Dye or Jenks right now (in 2008), but buyer beware…
Ken Griffey, Jr. Looks Great in Black Pinstripes:
This photo isn’t the best — that’s what you get for sitting in the upper deck — but trust me. The man looked dapper as dapper could be in his new duds. And the crowd welcomed him with an unconditional electric love. It was something I’ll always remember. It was truly a special moment.
“U.S. Cellular: Believe in something better”
Yeah, I do. It’s called Verizon.
Just Because I Go to the Game by Myself Doesn’t Mean I Want to Listen to the D-Bag Behind Me Lie to His Girlfriend All Night Long:
“Yeah, so I know Minnie Minoso. He’s a good friend of my dad’s. Yeah. We go way back. You heard of Frank Thomas? Yeah, I have his personal cell phone number. Yeah, but it’s in my other phone so yeah… and well, I mean, I know Pudge but he doesn’t like to be bothered so I try not to call him unless it’s important…”
Yeah, sure. You know Minoso, Thomas and Carlton “Pudge” Fisk and yet you’re sitting behind me in the 528 section? Yeah, sure, that’ll get you laid.
Yes, the T-Shirt-Throwing Promotion Girl Looks Hot on the Outside, but Inside She’s the Devil:
That Kyle Farnsworth trade has turned out to be beneficial for every team in the Major Leagues except the Tigers. Grrrr.
Good Things Do Come to Those Who Wait:
After 13 innings, a hoarse voice and cottonmouth, I decided to leave. Of course, in the 14th, Swish won it with a walk-off homer and now I hate myself.
But hey, at least I learned something.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Okay, Mr. Krause. You said your answer was simple, but in fact, it wasn’t. Spoken like a true politickin’ politician, you pulled the ‘ole ‘leave the answer up to the reader’ move. Nice job. Passing the buck has never appeared so graceful.
The right answer is: Shawn Chacon is replaceable. Blackball the guy, turn your back on him, punch him in the nuts, whatever — anyone who behaves like that doesn’t deserve the opportunity to play baseball at the Major League level and doesn’t deserve to make Major League dollar$. If I physically attacked my boss at work tomorrow I’m pretty sure word would get around (after I’m fired) to those in the Asian art world that I was bad news. No way I’d get a job in the industry again and I wouldn’t deserve it if I did.
If someone like Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols attacks his GM (neither ever would), I could entertain the idea of giving him a second chance based only on the idea that there is no replacing an Alex Rodriguez or an Albert Pujols. But Shawn Chacon? A paragon of mediocrity? No way. I can’t wait to pull into a Texas service station and have him rotate my tires.
But who cares anyway? Much more exciting things in the news today…
Like Kyle Lohse’s outstanding ESPN primetime performance against the now below-.500 Manuel-era Mets. Lohse has been an absolute stud this season. Everyone credits Dave Duncan — as they should — but Lohse must get props for putting the plan into action. Speaking of Dunc, I’m pretty sure Orel Hershiser was getting mad wood every time he brought up Dave Duncan during the ESPN telecast, which seemed to be every home inning. It’s okay. I was getting the same reaction.
And there was a lot of reaction from the sore-losing Northsiders in the Loop today. Hey, all you loser sCrUB fans who gave me hell last weekend — who refused to answer my phone calls, emails, text messages during the Southside whoopin’ ya’ll took this weekend, I got two words for you: EAT IT!
I feel better now.
And so does Nick Swisher… and Jim Thome, obviously. Don’t look now, but these two streaky hitters are getting hot and there’s no limit to the damage they can do in tandem alongside Quentin and Dye. Look out world, look out.
Now that the Windy City (Crosstown) Classic is over, and we’re all even, I think it’s time to pay homage to the absolute worst commercial in the history of Chicago. Leave it to Chevrolet to think it’d be really awesome for an old Italian and an aging Latino to perform a rap song about baseball in the Second City. Not since Puff Daddy and Mase destroyed the legendary memory of Biggie has the music world seen such an abomination of a duo.
In case you missed it, or in case you don’t live in Chicago, here it is. I’m just warning you: Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right:
On the same night that Barack Obama became the definitive Democratic nominee and furthered his journey by taking the next step to becoming the president of hope for all US Americans, I too made a bold move that finally gave the people what they wanted. Yes, dear readers, it is true that since late April, I have become somewhat of a recluse and have not made any public appearances at a baseball stadium near you. This decision had nothing to do with those endearing fans who have urged me to come back into the light and everything to do with the fear mongering Cub fans and subsequent paparazzi that have simply been unable to leave me alone. After my shotgun rise to fame, the careening death of my humility and myriad run-ins with the high demands of fans and foes alike, I ultimately found myself spent — empty of emotion, void of volition, destitute of destiny.
But sometimes the voice of the people is so loud and so strong and so motivating that not even I can ignore it.
And so it came to me in the middle of the night — that thunderous roar of resurgence inspired by the people — that no longer would I allow myself, my fans, my chimeric offspring, nor any other US American or world-inhabiting life form to continue down the path of never-ending disappointment. No. It was time to get out. It was time to go to The Joan.
The Royals were in town. The Sox were standing atop the AL Central (still are). And the people were ringing in my ears.
When I first stepped outside my Southside home I was pleasantly surprised to see that the paparazzi, hopeless that I would ever show my face in public again, were already gone. I walked the few short blocks to the #8 Halsted bus stop at 29th & Halsted and to my delight, this is what I saw:
What a beautiful sight to see no one around. The coast was clear. I could breathe easy. Then the bus came. Reality set in. Chaos ensued.
I barely made it out of there alive! As soon as I stepped on the bus it started — the ambush of photographers, autograph seekers, ill-parented children. Someone, somebody tipped them off to my arrival and I’m pretty sure it was my personal stylist, Miguel, who is, coincidentally, now dead. I had nothing to do with his death (he was hit by the #62 Archer bus in a freak accident) but it’s obvious that he deserved it. I’m lucky I survived on the #8 myself.
But I did. And I was determined.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t going to get any easier at the game. A fog had set in over the city, eerily setting the stage for yet another blitzkrieg on my stardom, and not even Jermaine Dye (who is much more looming in person) could protect me from the evildoing Royals fans:
Yes, folks, Royals fans hate me too. They hate me for my arrogance, righteousness, intelligence. They hate me because I’m a Cardinals fan. They hate me for my unending defamation of Don Denkinger, for my highly praised baseball-politico forum of RSBS and because I root for my neighborhood Sox. But the main reason they hate me is ‘cuz I’m always right.
And one Royals fan couldn’t stand to see me in my element — to see me make a graceful entrance to the section 110 box seats, greeted with fanfare and treated with respect. No. It made him turn blue and then it made him turn on me:
I only blacked out for a second, but in that time A.J. hit a single and Carlos Quentin knocked him in by blasting a 2-run homer that landed just feet from me and the RSBS entourage. I came to and noticed my cellphone was blowing up with text messages from my counterpart, Allen Krause, who was attending the St. Louis Cardinals v. D.C. Nationals matchup. At the same exact time that I was getting beat up by a drunk Royals fan, Allen was getting his teeth kicked in by the Nats’ Elijah Dukes, who actually read Al’s blog entry, way back when, attacking Dukes for his predatory passes at a 17 year-old foster child. It was raining heavily in D.C. and while the Cards were pounding the ball, Al just couldn’t take the excitement, the rain or the pain. He texted me to say he was going home.
But I stayed. The Royals fan was kicked out of the park by my — ahem — the White Sox security:
The Sox would continue to score runs, with homeruns from Alexei Ramirez and (hold your breath!) Nick Swisher, further adding to the Royals’ dismay.
And at the end of a colossally eventful night, the people got what they wanted: Obama won the nomination, Jenks pitched the 9th, the Cardinals beat the Nats, Elijah Dukes beat the snot out of Tiger-lover Allen Krause, and I got out of the house.
Life ain’t worth livin’ if ya don’t take some risks sometimes… and life ain’t worth livin’ if you hate me ‘cuz I’m right. Just ask that Royals fan.