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.
It’s interleague weekend, y’all. According to King Bud, this is when I’m supposed to get excited about made-up rivalries with catchy names like the I-70 Series, the Ohio Cup and the Battle of the Beltway.
Battle of the Beltway?!?!? STOP IT! JUST STOP IT!
Don’t you know that every time you hark on some fantasy-driven nostaliga concerning the Washington Nationals, my Expos-missin’ heart suffers more unquantifiable pain?!?
That damn Molière was right: “You only die once, and it’s for such a long time.”
But let us not forget, dear readers. Instead, let us continue to pour out our liquor, to writhe in sweet Youppi memories, to saver Denny Martinez pitching a perfect game in baby blue pajamas.
Opening Day saw some pretty spectacular bullpen meltdowns. But what
does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the
bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Have
pitchers gotten soft?
*Breaks window, jumps from the second story, runs down the street screaming even though forgot pants*
Believe me, Mr. Jake, I am really trying to tackle this one without any bias, without any memory of Opening Day in the ‘Lou, without a mammoth-sized chip on my shoulder. But let’s be honest: in baseball, there isn’t much worse than watching your team dominate throughout a game, only to blow it all in the 9th when the win is on the line.
My Redbirds managed to do that on Opening Day. The Brewers did too (all credit goes to John Axford). The Mets ran into it last night with Jail-Rod’s shenanigans (Also, his unfettered desire to fight people proves that pitchers — at least this one — have not gotten “soft”… unless the pitcher’s name is Kyle Farnsworth). Hell, ask the 2010 Baltimore Orioles… they know all about losing games late considering they blew more games last year than Lil Kim did Bad Boys in the 90s.
But what does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Gee, I’m not sure it’s really come to that. The ’08 Cardinals were pretty awful, as I remember the bullpen yacking up over 25 games late… but, after giving it the old eye test, I’m not sure it’s really fair to say that the state of Major League bullpens is any different than it has been in years past. You either have a good one, a mediocre one, or a bad one.
And even when you have a bad one, that doesn’t necessarily spell gloom and doom for one’s team. 2009 Brad Lidge comes to mind; my pedestrian and oft frightened colleague, Mr. Krause probably could’ve done a better job on the hill than Lidge that season, but the Phillies still managed to grind their way to the World Series.
Unfortunately, these days, the role of a “closer” and “set-up man” and “7th inning guy” has been magnified because of money. The more money involved, the more pressure. The more pressure, the fewer who can actually deal with it.
In fact, for my money, there’s only one closer who is reliable every single day and that man’s name is Mariano Rivera. I think the Yankees could realistically state that their season might rely on Mo’s cutters; but then again, their set-up man saved 40+ last year. And, oh yeah, their all-star lineup doesn’t hurt either.
But for the other 29 teams, yeah, it could be a problem. But when your team is in flux — featuring an unsigned future Hall of Famer, a sidelined perennial Cy Young contender, and an All-Star outfielder absent because of an appendectomy — then you got more problems than you can actually stomach right now. The bullpen is just one of many.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
– – –
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Before you start jumping to conclusions, dear readers, let me just say that I don’t think Vice President Joe Biden’s aides were in the right for locking Orlando Sentinel reporter, Scott Powers, in the closet during a recent Alan Ginsburg-paid soiree to raise money for the 2012 election campaign. If Biden’s aides are as sexy and savvy as the RSBS interns, then they surely had a good reason for keeping Mr. Powers confined to a small space for such a long time.*
As a bonafide megafortified soused-out baseball fanatic, I can honestly say that I’d like to keep a few players in the closet for the entire 2011 season, so that I can concentrate on the games being played rather than the asinine soap-operatic subplots of the whiny and perpetually irritating.
Who shall we keep locked up this season you ask? Well, I’ll tell you:
This is a tough call because Nyjer’s antics often result in beanball wars and Jeff Lungian smackdowns — both staples of maintaining my healthy psyche. But, when a player constantly runs his mouth and ends up getting his teammates hurt, then I think it’s time to get out the jaw-wiring. Besides, Morgan’s a
Nat Brewer. No one will even notice he’s gone.
He’s an idiot. He’s a birther. He’s an Oriole. And all of those things make him… irrelevant. A perfect candidate to be closeted. For the season. All of it!
And finally, if we’re going to be throwing folks in the closet for the season, let us not leave out…
I know that being a Seattle Mariner inherently keeps Milton’s whining out of the headlines (few people care to read the perils of such a slogging team), but this dude isn’t just a baby. He isn’t just a clubhouse cancer. He’s also a wife-beater. Not only that, but the man is not a good baseball player. He had one decent year, got paid and then went back to being a snake.
To the closet they go!
Hate me ‘cuz I’m slingin’ mud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*This is also how Mr. Krause’s parents shielded him from the temptations of adolescence.
Nevermind the fact that the O’s start the second half of the season on a 4-game win streak. Nevermind that they’re 5-5 in their last 10 games. Instead, let us focus on the big picture: they are a mighty 27 games behind the AL East leader.
And that ain’t bad.
That’s Pittsburgh Pirates bad.
Which, is about as bad as it gets.
So, if you’re an Orioles fan (are there any of you left?), be proud; come on down to the UIC strip and pick ya up one of these bleeding teal Oriole hats. No one will make fun of you for it. I promise. In fact, donning one of these lids will just make you…
Hate me ‘cuz I’m with the part-time fashion police, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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
I would pay Albert Pujols the moon. I would pay Derek Jeter the sun. Roy Halladay my left — AHEM. Okay, you know what I mean. These aren’t Chicago Transit Authority workers who sit around in bunches and watch one guy change one light bulb while they all count how many more days til that fat pension check kicks in. Pujols, Jeter, Halladay… men like that… their services are incalculable.
On the contrary, inflation and greed have changed the dynamics of the world economy so much that I find it frighteningly appalling that certain people in certain positions are able to pull down the amount of scratch they do. Considering how so many US Americans (me) are just skating by, watching ye olde savings account disappear quicker than an Oriole lead in the 9th, I think it’s time we call some of these folks out.
Don’t get me wrong. I ain’t no hater. But soon you’ll agree… overcompensation can be a nagging pain for those of us on the opposite end of the money tree.
Sure, in the baseball world, $7 million a year is quite the bargain, especially for a perennial MVP candidate who can single-handedly carry a team for weeks at a time. Or is it? In the case of Hanley Ramirez, it’s probably less about overcompensation and more about breaking child labor laws. Yeah, you heard me right. ‘Cuz only whiny kids and spoiled brat beotches find themselves exempt from exerting maximum effort on the diamond. And at $7 million a year or $70 a year, when ya play baseball for a living, I expect you to hustle. Always.
Did you know that the strikingly beautiful oldest daughter of former Alaska governor and ultimate purveyor of Backwardism has signed a deal with a speakers bureau to make between $15,000 and $30,000 per speech. Uh… m’kay. So… uh… what’s she gonna speak about? Let’s see, what would make anything Bristol Palin has to say important to me (or anyone)? She’s the daughter of a famous politician. So what? I’m the son of an awesome MRI technologist. She got knocked up while in high school. So what? I was smart enough to wrap it up. Uh… she’s attractive. So what? Hello!?!? Where the hell is my $30K per speech contract?
Remember this guy?!? If you hear that Twilight Zone music sifting through your head, you are not alone, dear readers. I was able to catch the end (and most, er… exciting?) part of that Royals/Indians matchup last night… y’know, the one where Kerry Wood came in throwing 97 mph gas that the Royals — yes, the ROYALS — blasted all over the park. I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying someone $10.5 million a year — someone who always seems to be or is about to be injured — I would ask him to at least be as good as his replacement. Throw in the eminent departure of the most highly publicized free agent in the history of sports and yeah, I’d say it’s time to light that Cuyahoga on fire again, Cleveland. Yep. Let go and let that baby burn.
Hate me ‘cuz your girlfriend digs me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.