Like any good book, the baseball season unfolds as a series of intriguing stories. Mike Trout. Bryce Harper. The Baltimore Orioles. The Boston sell-off. ROIDS!!! These are all striking plot lines that draw us in, forcing us to check Twitter and MLB Trade Rumors and MLB Tonight as often as Mr. Krause uses a 5-year old picture of me looking like a goof.
Yet, at the end of the season, after the World Champions have been crowned, the champagne has been drunk and Ozzie Guillen has said something unintelligible on live television, I firmly believe that the biggest story of the year could be the complete reversal of what up until a few weeks ago looked like a major headline grabber.
That’s right. I’m talking to you, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Not even International Talk Like A Pirate Day could save loyal baseball fans in the Steel City from wanting to bring back the brown paper bags from the last 19 years.
With the losses on Wednesday and Thursday, the Pirates find themselves back where they belong, with a losing record.
It’s sad, right? I guess. No. I know. It is sad. But for a realist like me, it was also predictable. The Pirates doing well would be a surprise. Seeing them sink back into loserdom is not.
Speaking of losers, you are not one today, my friend. In fact, you just won! What did you win? Well, I can’t leave you feeling so sad on a Friday… so here are 18 glorious minutes of bloopers from The Office.
I’ve watched the play about a 100 times now — each time the pain rings out through my own body, more and more. I’ve often heard about mothers feeling their children’s’ pain — lovers experiencing each others’ physical ailments.
This is what that must feel like.
Watching Yadier Molina get crushed is something I will never be able to fully accept. But I’ve watched it over and over and I really do think Josh Harrison had no other choice. Yadi did his job. He took away the plate. The only way Harrison had a shot was to go under, over or through Yadi.
Yadi’s a beast. Over and under were not plausible options. Harrison’s only choice was to barrel through.
It sucks to watch your man-crush get pummeled, but I watched Mickey Ward get destroyed once too, and he came back like the champ that he was.
Yadi will be back too.
So please, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Who is the man with the masterplan?
Good question, Jake! And the answer isn’t as easy as one Dr. Dre would lead you to believe.
Honestly, it’s hard to just pick one person and say he’s the man with the masterplan. And since we here at RSBS like to avoid being too categorical, I’m going to give you a list of possibilities and let you decide.
First we turn to the world of baseball. Here, you could say it’s the Washington Nationals, the former laughingstock of the league who now find themselves with the second best record in baseball, who are the man. Or, how about the Cincinnati Reds with the best record in baseball? Even that would be ignoring the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, although several games behind the Reds, are still in wildcard contention. The Pirates?!
If that’s too vague for you, we could always try to drill down a little and offer up some individuals. You can’t spit these days without hitting some news about Mike Trout. However, at only 20 years old, it’s a little hard to say that he’s the man with the masterplan. The same could be said of Stephen Strasburg, although the Nationals’ plan to limit his innings this season could be seen as a masterplan…..or a master cock-up if it costs them a playoff spot or a deep playoff run.
When you say masterplan, though, that seems to be a bit more global than just Major League Baseball. This sounds more like it requires worldwide dominance in which case we should turn our eyes toward London and the Olympic games. The obvious choices here are the US Men’s basketball team who unfortunately seemed almost human against the Lithuanians and Michael Phelps, the Midas of swimming who has a knack for turning almost everything gold.
However, it also doesn’t hurt to look a bit further afield. For instance, how about a man who dabbles in and dominates a field of pseudo-gymnastics. That’s right. Olympic men’s trampoline champion, Dong Dong. With a name like that and the current title-holder as World and Olympic champion, it’s hard to say he’s not the man with the masterplan.
The Pirates were a perennial losing franchise?
Bob Costas’ pretentious Olympian superlatives weren’t pretentious because they were about baseball, something the man truly loves?
I mocked Sarah Palin’s mocking of Obama’s proposed “hopey-change” politics?
Everyone discounted the Cardinals’ playoff hopes with three weeks left in the season?
The GOP wasn’t an absolute joke?
Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise was the greatest thing that ever happened in comic book film history? (WARNING: Major spoiler alert with that link)
NBC didn’t ruin every single sporting event it broadcasted?*
US American politicians really worked for the people?
And remember when you didn’t hate me ‘cuz I was right?
*Not including the XFL, which was a brilliant endeavor, even if it was extremely stupid.
Sports Illustrated‘s annual Fortune 50 list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes list is out and Major League Baseball is heavily represented. In fact, 36% of the athletes are baseballers — some better than others (looking at you, Barry Zito). And while I’m sad to see an star like Floyd Mayweather, Jr at the top, one who eschews real glory at the highest level for a comfortable place atop boxing mediocrity, I am glad that baseball players are makin’ that pay-puh. It makes me feel less suicidal when I pay $8 for a 16 oz beer.
Here’s a quick rundown of the highest paid American baseball players and their overall ranking among American athletes in parenthesis.
1. Alex Rodriguez (6)
Too bad for the Yankees A-Rod can’t be young and steroided like the good old days. His health is just going downhill from here.
2. Derek Jeter (9)
He can do no wrong. I would pay this man a bazillion dollars a year if I could. And since Albert left me, I have no problems admitting my 17-year Jeet man-crush.
3. Joe Mauer (12)
Really? 12th highest paid American athlete overall and third highest Major Leaguer? I would feel better about this if he could hit it over the Target Field fence once in a while.
4. Vernon Wells (17)
PSSSHH!!!! I just ruined my keyboard with a mouthful of coffee.
5. C.C. Sabathia (20)
Mo’ money, mo’ foooooooooooooooooood!
6. Mark Teixeira (21)
Nothing says $23 million a year like a YEEE-HAW JAW!
7. Prince Fielder (22)
I have a feeling if I make one more Prince Fielder fat joke then I’m going to be… eaten…
8. Adrian Gonzalez (25)
He may have lost his power stroke, but with $21 million a year I’m sure he’s strokin’ plenty of power.
9. Justin Verlander (28)
A man’s man, I would prefer to see Verlander at the very top of this list, or at the very least, have the opportunity to rifle a fastball at Mayweather’s head.
10. Cliff Lee (29)
Way to go, Phillies. You’re making Clifton Phifer look bad.
11. Ryan Howard (32)
While many of my Cardinal fan brethren choose to hate on Albert, I prefer to hate on Howard, the man who made signing Albert impossible.
12. Roy Halladay (35)
Way to go, Phillies. You bring in the best pitcher in baseball to get you over the hump then s*** the bed three years in a row.
13, 14, 15. Barry Zito, Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols (Tied for 36 overall)
One of these things is not like the other…
16. Josh Beckett (44)
Is it me or has he gained like 40 pounds since he was traded to the Red Sox?
17. Jake Peavy (45)
Up until this year, I thought dude was done. Yes, the crow I’ve been eating tastes bad.
18. A.J. Burnett (49)
Huh? How did A.J. get on this list? I’d like to know the same. He should’ve signed two contracts, one for each of his personalities. At least he’s been living up to it ever since his worst day ever.
Hate me ‘cuz I didn’t make the list, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
We’ve been warning our readers about the impending zombie apocalypse for a while now. In fact, we even went so far as to make some suggestions on how to prepare. Well, it turns out it’s a good thing we did so because on the zombie apocalypse clock, we’re about a millisecond from midnight.
The signs have been there for several years but it took some crackerjack sleuthing by the RSBS interns to sift through all the grisly stories and distill out the horrible truth. If you go back nine years ago, to 2003, you find the infamous case of the man who decapitated himself while trying to flee an arrest (link contains graphic photos). Or is that what happened? As we all know, you have to decapitate a zombie to kill it so maybe the “fleeing arrest” story was just a coverup to keep people from freaking out about zombies.
However, even if you dismiss the man on the fence, the events of the past couple weeks should assure you that the apocalypse is upon us. First, in late May, Canadian police began to find blood-soaked packages in the mail containing human body parts. You know who else likes to dismember people? Zombies.
A couple days later we heard about the Maryland college student who not only killed a man who had been living with his family but also ate his heart and brain. Ate his brain?!? There’s only one other being I know of that likes to eat brains. Zombies.
And if that isn’t enough to convince you, how about the man conveniently known as the “Miami zombie” who was shot while trying to eat a homeless man’s face? I can only think of one reason to eat someone’s face and that’s because it’s the easiest way to get to their brain. I’m pretty sure there’s another group that instinctively knows the quickest way from point A to point B (as in brain), is a straight line. Mathematicians. And zombies.
Now, just in case you think I haven’t done enough to prove that the apocalypse, zombie or other, is upon us, think about this. Currently the Orioles and White Sox are leading their respective divisions and the Pirates are in second. Yeah, kind of makes you want to stock up on bottled water and sawed-off shotguns, doesn’t it?
The next time you’re late for work, spill coffee on your khakis and then get rejected by the hot gal at your local bakery, just remember: life could always be worse.
You could be a delusional sexist homophobe. Or, you could be A.J. Burnett.
Equally terrifying, I know.
But it just doesn’t get much worse than A.J.’s lackluster performance from Wednesday night. In fact, in the entire history of Major League Baseball, it was the single worst start by a pitcher since 1929 as Burnett was lit up by the Cardinals for 12 hits and 12 earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
But today is Friday, folks, and I don’t wanna release you for the weekend all depressed, so when that worst day ever does choose you as its next victim, make sure you watch the below video to remind you of the BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!
Simplistic campaigns to hunt down public enemies (like Kony 2012) are all the rage these days. When will you all be launching Selig 2012?
It is no secret that the authors of these pages hold no love for the staunch bureaucratic policies and seemingly never-ending reign of King Bud the Nosepicker. Indeed, we’ve ripped the man’s decisions in every which way and have even gone as far as to say that George W. Bush would make a perfect Commissioner in comparison (no joke here, we really do think Dubya would be perfect for the job). But to compare Bud Selig to the heartless, maniacal, baby-raping mass murderer Joseph Kony? Um… that’s a bit much.
But just a bit.
The good news is, people are getting educated on Kony’s crimes. And they’re doing something about it (unless *this* derails it). However, when it comes to the tyranny of King Bud, we already know about the bevy of shenanigans. There’s just nothing we can do about it.
If I may break from the usual ‘ol crotchety me for a moment, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the overall state of our national pastime is as good now as it’s ever been. Seriously. If you turn your head from the silliness that is King Bud’s All-Star Game, and if make yourself forget about that whole Ryan Braun cheating thing, and pretend like the overall muscle bulge of the 90s and early aughts was caused by “supplements” that can easily be purchased at your local GNC, then you might conclude that, indeed, baseball’s vibe is very good right now.
The networks are fighting to get in on the expanded playoffs. Parity is slowly squeezing its way into all divisions. And the Pirates still suck!
More than that, people are still paying money to watch Adam Dunn play. Erin Andrews is still showing up in dugouts. And Tampa Bay seems to be in the playoff picture every year now, despite the fact that no one in Tampa Bay seems to care.
But most importantly of all, the St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs!
So for now, I can take a couple more years of bassackwards politickin’ from the usurping Milwaukee millionaire.
But I swear, Brad, if he reigns for more than two more years, you, me, Mr. Krause and the entire baseball universe are taking to the streets with Louisville Sluggers and Molotov cocktails (not to be confused with pet names for Kevin Millar).
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
_ _ _
Last year the Pirates tried to put an end to my relentless attack of literary low blows. Shortly after the All-Star break they were atop the NL Central and my head was appropriately buried in the sand (not kidding; by the way, it sucks.)
But then came Jerry Meals’ blown call and down, down, DOWN came the Pirates, settling into yet another comfortably uncomfortable 90 loss season.
Look, I’ve been burned before too, so I sorta feel for Pittsburgh. At the same time, insanity is still doing the same things over and over again expecting different results, right? So why should anyone in Pirate land be surprised?
THE FRONT OFFICE AIN’T DOIN’ IT RIGHT.
With the exception of Andrew McCutchen in 2005, the last 20 first round draft picks taken by Pittsburgh is a who’s who list of overblown talent busts. Among the KINGS OF NOBODYLAND are the likes of Bobby Bradley (1999), John VanBenschoten (2001) and Bryan Bullington (2002) — great sounding names, but swings and misses nonetheless.
Neal Huntington and the rest of the front office can say they’re doing things differently, but as long as they keep hoping Pedro Alvarez spends as much time perfecting his baseball tools as he does looking at the ground feeling sorry for himself, I’m afraid they have a long way to go.
Isn’t it about time they bring up those two Indian dudes?
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Just like A.J. Burnett in a Pirates uni, this is going to be ugly, moan-inducing and might even warrant a trip straight to the DL.
New MLB Playoff Format
In short, I like it. It emphasizes winning the division, makes trade deadline trades more suspect and guarantees drama as we enter the postseason. The only thing I can think of that would make this arrangement better is to skip the one game playoff and force each wild card team’s manager to do a keg stand before engaging in a last-man-standing no-holds-barred boxing tournament. My money is on Ron Washington. Cocaine makes ya crrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaazzzyyy!
Bigots Leading the Republican Party
Whether it’s the Pennsylvanian Taliban or the Ditto Führer of Ignorance himself , I’m getting quite tired of seeing Abe Lincoln’s party fall victim to mass idiocy. But I found something that will really cause ’em to scratch their heads:
Yadier Molina: Five More Years
Halle-FRACKIN-lujah!!! Seriously, I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. To those outside of the St. Louis Cardinals family, such jubliation may not seem warranted, but let me assure you: this is a grand, grand deal for all involved. Say what you will about Albert’s tenure, Yadier Molina is the absolute heart and soul of the St. Louis Cardinals. And everyone’s happy now. Yadi’s happy. Front office is happy. The fans are happy.