Jeff and Allen have been very busy all season long and with the playoffs in full swing, they thought it might be nice to bring in some relief writers. Today their friend from college, Jordan, gives us his take on the playoffs.
Man, it really is great to see Tommy Lee out there thrilling the crowd again. And this time instead of sticking it to Pam Anderson, he’s sticking it to the Yankees, picking up right where he left off last year. I’m happy for the guy, though. It’s a real achievement and hopefully it makes up for taking all that crap from Nikki Sixx for all those years. And playing for the Mariners. Now that’s a motley crew, right? Right?
Meanwhile Henry Rollins found an ideal moment to get back into form. Sure, he’s had a rough season and the last couple years weren’t the same with the injuries and all. But hey, what do you expect when you go from fronting Black Flag to playing shortstop for the Phillies?
But the Phillies also made the bold move of picking up Matt Holliday and turning him into a pitcher. It’s like the anti-Rick Ankiel. Considering that first round no-hitter he threw, it appears the Phillies get the last laugh. In all honesty, I didn’t see it coming either.
And of course the Yankees are loaded from top to bottom. Is Roger Clemens still playing? No? Uh, ok. Well, at least they still have Kung Fu Panda, Chien Ming Wang. I think that’s his nickname. He is Chinese after all. Or is he Korean? I always get them mixed up.
Anyway, the point is, I love the baseball playoffs and they’re even more exciting than usual this year with all these familiar names and faces in new places. I’m still a little bummed that my Twins didn’t do better but really, they just haven’t been the same since Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek left.
And then I will run across a headline, like this one on MLB.com, and realize that all of my spew is actually rim-shot-worthy material just writing itself at tremendous speed. The part I play is actually quite minuscule as I am merely an ebullient conduit for said spew. Any negative repercussions are clearly someone else’s fault (I’m the oldest of seven kids, so I’m an expert at redirecting blame).
But to be perfectly clear, I do not want to be the Matt Drudge of Major League Baseball — one who takes simple news stories with rigid headlines and turns them into bits of sultry, one-sided crap by reconstructing their titles with right wing conservative Christian buzz words in large red font with quotation marks ad nauseum (this is also known as fear mongering). If I may be trite, a news story is what it is.
And the Royals are what they are, with or without my chiding.
So let’s face it: the Royals are an abomination. They may not be on the exact level of abomination as the Pirates, but they are close behind. Just look at the rosters for those two intrasquad teams mentioned in the linked article:
Team 1: Scott Podsednik, LF; Chris Getz, 2B; David DeJesus, RF;
Josh Fields, 3B; Rick Ankiel, CF; Alberto Callaspo, 2B; Wilson Betemit,
DH; Ernesto Mejia, 1B; Brayan Pena, C.
Team 2: Mitch Maier, LF; Jason Kendall, C; Billy Butler, 1B;
Jose Guillen, RF; Alex Gordon, 3B; Scott Thorman, DH; Mike Aviles, 2B;
Brian Anderson, CF; Yuniesky Betancourt, SS.
Now, tell me you aren’t laughing as hard as I am.
Was that a bit harsh?
I don’t know. Isn’t it a bit harsh on the five or six fans left in Kansas City to know that their big offseason acquisitions include an old guy who used to run well, a walking concussion who can’t hit a breaking ball and another old guy who… well, okay, Jason Kendall might teach those kids something… but Wilson Betemit!?! WTF!?!?
All jokes aside, I can tell you this: there was a time when Royals baseball invoked fear in the minds of all opponents. Nowadays the only thing invoked by the Kansas City Royals is a quick change of the channel.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If I were stranded on a remote island ten years ago and I just now got back to see Rick Ankiel is playing center field for the Kansas City Royals, I would be thoroughly confused. We all know what a tremendous story Rick Ankiel’s career has been up to this point. So let me be clear: as a Cardinals fan, I fully support Ricky and thank him for all he did in a Cards uniform. I wish him the best of luck.
Yet I cannot help but believe all those concussions did a smidgen more than some serious damage to his psyche.
In his welcoming press conference with the Royals last week, Ankiel mentioned that part of why he wanted to come to Kansas City was because he ‘liked the direction’ the team was going.
And we all know it.
The truth is: Rick Ankiel is happy to be with the Royals because he has a job now when it looked like he might not. I can’t blame the guy. I would do the exact same thing… which may or may not include my liking ‘the direction’ of the team.
Because, let’s face it: this team ain’t goin’ anywhere.
Scott Podsednik. Jason Kendall. Billy Butler. Kyle Farnsworth.
These names do not a champion make.
I think the best summary of the Kansas Royals’ direction, under the keen eye of GM Dayton Moore, is represented by a technical glitch which provided wonderment during the press conference.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Kansas City Royals: Team of Infinite Regress:
– – –
Tune in Monday and Tuesday of this week. Ninemen’s Morris is baaaaaaaaaaaaack…
Does this mean, Al, that you would have taken Steve Howe back 6 times like Steinbrenner did? He picked up Strawberry and Gooden too. He loved reclamation projects.
Now, first of all, I have to say that it’s a pretty low blow to compare me to satan incarnate. Am I older than god and incontinent? No. But the question itself is interesting. Baseball, like life, seems to be all about reclaiming, recycling and otherwise reusing. Honestly, is there any other reason that Kyle Farnsworth still has a job?
The first part of the question is easy. The only Howe that I would take multiple times is Gordie and any true Michigander would be right there with me. But if you look at baseball right now, how many players are in their newest incarnation as the result of some sort of experiment, some sort of reclamation? Rick Ankiel. Josh Hamilton. The existence of the designated hitter shows the natural (or unnatural, depending on who you ask) evolution of this philosophy.
But I guess here’s what I’ll say. If you can pick up a guy who’s iffy and he’s not going to be a cancer in the clubhouse, why not give it a try? And if you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work but you have a new approach this time, I say go for it. In the end, that’s what sets your run of the mill GM or owner apart from the greats. The great ones recognize who can still contribute and in what way while the other guys just fish around and hope for the best.
Here’s a good rule of thumb, though. Kyle Farnsworth is beyond reclamation. Can we just agree on this once and for all?
Since you guys are always putting politics in baseball, why didn’t you
try to get out the All-Star vote? Not one post about voting for your
favorite all-star? I was shocked.
Well, Kellen, in what may have been the largest oversight since the creation of this blog, neither Jeff nor myself exploited this wonderful forum as a bully-pulpit for some sort of get-out-the-vote crusade. However, in typical politico fashion, I am going to refuse to admit to any sort of mistake and instead claim that this was all planned.
See Kellen, despite our obvious strong feelings toward our favorite teams and players, Jeff and I are also of the belief that the political process needs to proceed unfettered. And when I say unfettered, I mean that the same 18 guys should be voted onto the team every year because of their geographic location and attendant fan base. Is Derek Jeter the best shortstop in the AL? Uh, no. But he plays for the Yankees and that means he’s going to be representing the AL anyway.
Now, I could have gotten out there and exhorted you to vote for Adam Everett instead but would you have listened? No. You would have been more than happy to follow the crowd and vote your straight Red Sox, Yankees or Mets ticket. Or, in your case Kellen, probably a straight Cardinals ticket. Seriously, Rick Ankiel as an All-Star?
But we have more important questions and issues to face. Like what could possibly be going through Sarah Palin’s head? Or why have so many famous people died in the past 10 days? My best guess so far for both questions is Swine Flu.
Don’t get me wrong, Kellen. I appreciate your question and perhaps in the future one or the other of us (by which I obviously mean Jeff) will stoop to that level and cravenly demand your vote. But until that moment, RSBS will strive to remain above the fray because *cue patriotic music* America’s game demands American democracy.
And in that spirit Kellen, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to stuffing the virtual ballot box to make sure Brandon Inge makes it in to the game. Speaking of stuffing ballot boxes, any news on Mark Sanford?
Maybe Dick Cheney is right. We’re all gonna die. And soon.
That’s right, folks. D-Train (or “Big Black Baby Jesus” as my Tiger-lovin’ colleague, Mr. Krause, likes to call him) has crawled his way back into Detroit’s starting rotation. And on Wednesday, we will all get the chance to see (and perhaps mock) the pitcher he has become after his long soul searching journey to recapture the glory days of 2003 and 2005.
In other words: we are all going to die.
Because, in my humble yet accurate opinion, Willis lost it a long time ago.
Okay, so he’s gone 25 2/3 innings with a 3.85 ERA in the minors this year. Well, lahdy frickin’ dah. If Willis really has rediscovered himself, he should be putting up lights out numbers against the young’ins down on the farm. Instead, Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland is calling him up because:
“He’s throwing pretty much around the plate all the time…”
(MLB Story Link)
Pretty much around the plate. Hm. Okay. Well, that sounds like a perfectly good reason to throw him back into the lions den and, you know, hope for the best. I mean, Rick Ankiel threw “pretty much around the plate” during the 2000 playoffs. So did I during my legion ball days of the mid 90s. Hell, my little sister could throw “pretty much around the plate” if it had a picture of Zac Efron on it.
At least D-Train has the right lackadaisical attitude going into his first start of the year:
“There are worse things than playing baseball, you know?”
(Morning Call Story Link)
Yes, you are correct, Dontrelle. There are worse things than playing baseball… like not being able to find the strike zone while playing baseball or doing shots with Amy Winehouse at an open bar or admitting that Dick Cheney may have a point.
In this case, I’m going to hope that I’m wrong… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Wait, no… that is a lie.
Because the St. Louis Cardinals released their clubhouse infecting second baseman Adam Kennedy this week and GM John Mozeliak, by simply opening his mouth, has opened the door for more ridicule from those of us who should actually matter the most (the fans) but continuously get tossed aside like a Roger Clemens B-12 filled syringe.
So Kennedy is gone. Great. Ask me if I care.
What I do care about is the $4 million we are paying him for 2009 anyway. Mozeliak said:
“I tried to exhaust the trade market. We thought we might have something happening that really came to an end
this weekend. At that point it was just time. It was more fair for both
parties to do it now than wait a couple weeks.”
Translation: I am not very good at my job.
You mean to tell me, Mr. Mozeliak, that no team in Major League Baseball was willing to trade for Kennedy? No team!?! None?!? You couldn’t get one minor league guy, one nobody, one journeyman reliever for Adam Kennedy?
Give me a break. But in all fairness, Mr. Mozeliak, you are right about one thing. That was a fair deal for the Kennedy camp. More than fair. Here’s $4 million, Adam. Sit on your ^ss, dude. Have a good time. Go out and get a league minimum one-year deal from some team and live off the fat of the Cardinals’ land.
I suspect he will.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals fan forums, blogs and message boards are lighting up with “what the hell do we do now”s; some delusional fans have even gone as far as to suggest Mozeliak may go out and sign a free agent second baseman like Orlando Hudson or Mark Grudzielanek to fill the empty space.
Ha! I laugh in your face! For you know not the true nature of our general manager:
“Right now, we’re going to go with what we have. We would like to do this internally if we could, and we do have confidence that we can.”
Translation: I have the conch! Not you! Me! It’s mine mine mine mine mine! All mine! And I say let’s get these suckas in the ballpark without assembling a competitive team. Why not? Those silly fans have already proven that they’ll support a crappy team; we can do that on the cheap and still rake in millions! Sell ’em t-shirts and Busch Light and bobbleheads that are way overpriced! They love that s***!
Mozeliak finished by saying:
“I do think this [releasing Kennedy for nothing while still paying him $4 million] was an opportunity to inject some energy into that
position and really show that we are moving this club in a newer
Translation: This club is built to fail. I signed Trever Miller and Royce Ring to further weaken an already deplorable bullpen that blew 31 saves last year. My major off-season acquisition of shortstop Khalil Greene hit a mind-blowing .212 last season, I haven’t even tried to land a closer and I am taking Ludwick and Ankiel to arbitration because I want to make them feel uncomfortable about playing in St. Louis. And as soon as this season is over and we have been embarrassed by the Cubs and Brewers, LaRussa and Duncan will walk and I’ll have this team right where I want it: going nowhere!
At least Ballpark Village is right on track:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.