Listen up, Major League Baseball. I love you. I really do; and sometimes being in love means having to bring you back down to earth, to be horribly blunt and to shower you with lots of smack (the slang, not the drug, though sometimes the drug seems like a better option in extreme cases, like when you overflow my inbox with crap I don’t want and never asked for).
MLB, you are not the NFL. You are not the NBA. You are MLB.
So while I commend you for trying to drum up interest in something — the first year player draft — that is, on the surface, boring and otherwise three to four years removed (if that) from the current game, I must ask you to please snap out of it!
For the record, I do not care about the NFL and NBA drafts either, but I can certainly see why people do. If you are a basketball and/or football fan, you have seen the potential draftees come up through the highly competitive elite forces of the NCAA. Bowl games are slammed down your throat. March Madness is so mad that it doesn’t end until April. You know the players. You’ve seen their talents. You hope your pro team gets a shot at their services.
In contrast, the potential baseball draftees are as familiar to us fans as is a logical, amicable, non-infuriating Ann Coulter. In the NFL and NBA, if you get drafted, your chances of seeing playing time at the top are almost a given, while most of the guys drafted in the MLB draft will never put on a big league uniform. Sure, your Griffeys, A-Rods and Verlanders — guys who go in the first round or two — will most likely make it; but the majority of the rest will wallow away in the minor leagues, battle disillusionment, come to grips with not being good enough and before you know it they’re faxing TPS reports behind a desk while reading RSBS for giggles.
So as MLB pats itself on its self-aggrandizing back about televising this overblown shindig so they can sell lots of advertising to companies gullible enough to think that it will actually rival that of its football and basketball brethren, you can be sure that I will be spending my time wisely. Dear readers, I advise you to do the same; and just in case you can’t think of anything better to do, here are some suggestions:
- Remember, question and lament the hype of Pete Incaviglia
- Write hate-mail to Rush Limbaugh and sign it “Jesus”
- Clone Chris Carpenter
- Come up with clever gimmicks to sell your new religion start-up (worked for me!)
- Or, God forbid, watch an actual Major League Baseball game with real-life Major Leaguers
Indeed, that is but a short list of things I will be doing instead of watching your draft, MLB. I will not be listening to Harold Reynolds start every sentence with “Now, here’s a guy…” nor will I sing praises of your precious college phenom Stephen Strasburg when he is — as you already told me he would be — drafted in the first round. I’ll wait until he collects the league minimum $400K for that.
I know a poser when I see one and it is because I love you, MLB, that I have to call you one to your face. Go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m critical of your identity crisis, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Ah, summer! A time of year that seems to bring out the worst in everyone. According to statistics the RSBS interns just delivered, the number of drunken brawls increases by 46.7% during the summer while the number of rational decisions made dips precipitously to less than one out of every three decisions. But don’t just rely on our statistics. Take a look at the anecdotal evidence, too.
Carlos Zambrano’s ejection the other night, which was quickly followed by a 6-game suspension, highlights the upward trending number of ejections in Major League Baseball over the past few weeks. And if you think Zambrano’s tirade was ugly, just wait until Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity really get going on Sonia Sotomayor. The higher the temperature goes up, the hotter people’s heads get and the more likely they are to explode.
Maybe that’s why we should learn a lesson from the always even keel Brits. For instance, take a look at Eugene here. Do you think he’s going to shove Simon if he doesn’t make it to the next round? Will he verbally abuse the other two judges? Despite Eugene’s special set of issues, I’m thinking no.
Either way, happy Friday!
Round two of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry kicked off Friday night and once again the game wobbled in the unsteady hands of each club’s respective bullpens.
Ryan Franklin was a success.
Carlos Marmol was not.
If you don’t know by now, Albert Pujols is a baseball god. He hits for average. He hits for power. He steals bases. He motivates his teammates. I would rather donate half my salary to the Republican Party, sit on Rush Limbaugh’s lap and make out with Ann Coulter while listening to the entire Barry Manilow catalogue than piss off Pujols.
No wonder Franklin got the job done.
As for Marmol, well, can anyone blame him for yet another failure? His manager hates him. He has no clearly defined role on the team. And he just found out that General Motors is pulling the plug on the Pontiac line!
Life just ain’t fair; I couldn’t be happier.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(*Base images courtesy of the Associated Press)
Despite their usual relegation to fodder for debates on controversial testing and (disputed) lack of souls, animals have recently clawed themselves into the news for other reasons. For instance, you had to have been living under a rock to have missed the news about the new dog in the White House. Economic meltdown and Limbaugh inspired populism be damned! There’s much more important news to be discussed.
But it seems that our quadrupedal mammalian friends take an interest in more than just politics. Various baseball curses have been blamed on various animals over the years and considering the superstitious lot that seems drawn to baseball, it should come as no surprise. And recently these curse carrying vehicles of diabolical providence have once again reared their frightening and yet oh so soft and fluffy heads.
On opening night at Citi Field, a cat stole the show as the Mets fell to defeat and fans wondered if perhaps this was a sign.
But even more disturbing for lovers of felines and haters of curses was the way a similar situation was handled at Wrigley Field this past week. Of course the video is no longer available as MLB, in its infinite wisdom, forced it off of YouTube but the controversy has continued as some objected to the handling of the animal by Wrigley Field security.
No matter what your thoughts might be on the rash of streaking cat incidents, it seems clear that these are not isolated events. Perhaps Douglas Adams had it wrong and it’s not the mice who are in charge, but rather the cats and they are trying to give us a sign. Either way, we here at RSBS will keep you posted on all important cat-based developments in baseball over the course of the season.
Though I cannot necessarily prove this theory in conventional form, as an honest human being with an affinity for disclosure, I assure you that I have good reason to believe both Republican juggernauts Ann “She-Devil” Coulter and Rush “Just Call Me Jabba” Limbaugh were hunched over their television sets last night vehemently rooting against Team USA, praying to their hypocritical conservative god that Team Puerto Rico would find a way to quell the dreams and aspirations of US Americans worldwide.
It didn’t work.
Jimmy Rollins and David Wright became the baseball versions of Barack Obama and Joe Biden — once bitter rivals who put aside their differences, bridged the gap and brought home a win when it mattered the most.
Get over it.
That goes for my colleague, Mr. Allen Krause as well. Because we all know that Mr. Krause would rather see Rollins and Wright duke out that “choke-fest” moniker on the field — the last man standing to be crowned the argument’s winner; but if we US Americans are really about anything, we are about coming together in times of need, when it matters most.
Unless you are a Republican, of course.
And though Obama has done a fine job of staying the course early on in his presidency, it appears he finally gave in and enlightened the snickering skeptics and delinquent ditto-heads by unintentionally posing as a Tusken Raider for the cameras:
This unfortunate photographic gaffe comes on the heels of an equally embarrassing egregious error regarding the double-talk surrounding those suspiciously infuriating AIG bonuses paid out to the very individuals responsible for schmucking the company’s total worth in the first place.
Are the Dems backpedaling on their original outcries?
Does this reflect poorly on the majority administration?
More harm than good, I would say.
Should we blindly follow the GOP sideshow leaders and trust that malcontent dissension is the social bonding agent of the future?
Rollins and Wright. Braun and Lilly. Jeter and Youk.
There is a time and place to battle it out, folks. But when enemy minds come through together in the clutch? That, my friends, is what makes the United States of America the greatest country on earth.
Ah… If only politics would mirror baseball.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Much of the political uproar over the past week centered on Rush Limbaugh’s address at CPAC in which he reaffirmed his desire to see President Obama fail. Understandably, many people are up in arms over this statement but some of them seem to be upset for all the wrong reasons. Obama is not the messiah and he will have policy failures. The sooner we accept that inevitability, the better.
But there is another reason why Rush’s words should have incensed us. Not only is his naive desire to see our country’s problems worsen ignorant at best, it also goes against everything we’ve been led to believe. America is a country built on dreams, MLK’s dream, the American Dream, even Obama’s dreams from his father, and failure, although sometimes an intermediate result, is never a goal. That’s where Rush gets it so wrong.
In America, we love dreams and we love seeing people pull through when everyone else is sure they’re going to fail. Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series. Willie Mays’ catch. The Tampa Bay Rays’ run to the pennant. No one gave any of them a chance but somehow they managed to overcome failure and succeed beyond their (and our) wildest imagination. When failure is an end instead of a means, dreams die and you become irrelevant.
Rush’s problem and, by extension, the problem of the Republican Party is that their actions have begun to cast them as irrelevant to the national debate. Wishing failure on your opponents doesn’t make you a seer. It makes you a streetcorner prophet, carrying your cardboard sign and sleeping on a park bench at night. It doesn’t signal engagement but rather disengagement.
The real issue and what Rush is afraid to say is that it’s not so much that he disagrees with Obama as it is that he has no solution of his own. After the experiment of the past eight years proved morally and financially bankrupt, how could he? However, the purview of the streetcorner lunatic has always included yelling louder than everyone else and making sure that yours is the voice that stands out. In that respect, Rush can truly claim, “Mission Accomplished.”
How very un-American our mothers are!
Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American. Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis. (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)
Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about. And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals:
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays. Okay. Fair enough, Curt. You are a gamer. You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level. Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for? And why the ultimatum for those two teams? Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs? This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.” I do not think anyone would have a problem with that. The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that. He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”
Go eat yourself to death, Rush.
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts. In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it. But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing. He said:
“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”
Hmm. Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one. Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book! Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know. Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say. From my vantage point, that ain’t happening. We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders. Big difference.
I know, I know. Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet. But he will. That is what he does.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season. That is classy. No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy. Believe that.