Dr. James Andrews and his ground-breaking Tommy John surgical procedure has given many years of service back to Big Leaguers who may have otherwise been forced to retire. It has also provided many extra years of thrills for fans. Without the surgery, we don’t have Strasburg. We don’t have Adam Wainwright. We don’t have A LOT of big time stars.
But, not everyone recovers as planned.
Enter, Joey Devine.
Despite the surname, his career path has been anything but. After a promising 2008 season where he went 6-1 in 42 appearances with a STUNNING .59 ERA, dude got kissed by the angel of shoulder death and was forced to have the highly effective surgery. Unlike most people though, two years later, he still hadn’t recovered properly; and now, in 2012, it appears Mr. Devine has to have Tommy John surgery AGAIN.
If Devine ever makes it back to the Bigs, you bet I’m gonna stand and applaud his every appearance. For the fortitude it must take to stay focused, to battle back against such adversity, would surely require we all do so.
Unfortunately, the current situation doesn’t look good. So I’m gonna pour out some liquor for his career.
Hang in there, Joey Devine. If it makes you feel any better, I know a Cantonese stripper named Joy Yee Divine. So every time I hear your name I chuckle. To myself, of course.
Hate me ‘cuz I make it rain sometimes, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It may not have been Strasmas, but according to the lunar calendar (and millions of Japanese people) April 9th proved to be an equally auspicious day, no matter what, because it was the very first Major League appearance by the highly touted (and valiantly unashamed to be naked) Yu Darvish.
Like you would expect, I made an evening of it. Here’s a play-by-play:
Still at work. I have looked at the clock every minute for the last thirty minutes, and will continue to do so for thirty more. I finish up the last of my TPS reports, turn them in to my boss and shriek when he yells “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS???”
At the gym. Working on my… nah, who am I kidding, every time I look at a hot chick working out next to me she has Yu Darvish’s face, which I find as distracting as I do disgusting. Going home now.
Dinner (sushi, of course) has been eaten. Feet are up. Beer is in hand. Let’s DO THIS! *Belch*
FSSW misses Darvish’s first pitch. Nice work, dingleberries. The biggest pitch of the year so far and you miss it. They come back from commercial break and the count is already 1-0 to Chone Figgins. AGGGHH!!! Then Darvish quickly walks him. Um… this is not how it’s supposed to go, guys.
After striking out Ackley on a NAAASTY breaking ball, Ichiro steps in. Japan loses its mind. Then Ichiro singles on a blooper to left and, already, I’m realizing Yu ain’t Strasburg (yet).
Now Justin Smoak is on first, bases are loaded with one out for Kyle Seager. Bases loaded? I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR NO BASES LOADED!!!
Two-run gapper to right and now I’m pissed. I could have been out on a date tonight! With a real, live woman! And I passed it up for this crap???!!! WTF are YU DOING!?!?!
Darvish makes Miguel Olivo look like Johnny Bench and I’m bored. More Daisuke, less Nomo. Not even close to Strasburg. He doesn’t even have a weird hitch in his delivery like all the Japanese greats do!
He just walked in a run. It’s 4-0. EFF THIS.
Seriously, I know this is a small sample size, but I ain’t impressed and I’m changing the channel… to watch Freese and Holliday and Molina (they all homer)… CHAMPIONS.
Hate me. I understand. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Once the game was over, it was evident he battled back and settled down. The offense helped him out and he recovered well, and even fooled some hitters. But the hoopla was a bit much for me for him not to deliver with jazz hands. Or maybe I’ve just been spoiled by so much great pitching the last couple years that I expect greatness every game. Either way, I’ll check in again next time. I just ain’t makin’ a night of it.
Is the hype to be believed? Could the Nationals actually contend this year?
Could they actually contend? Hmm… does watching a pitcher’s duel strike me with uncontainable bonerjamz? HELL to the YES, my friend! There are 159 games left in the season, and the Nats could win ’em all!
Or not. Still, this is not your embarrassing Expo leftover Natinal squad of old; rather, this is a team with bona fide pitching, timely bats and a revered sage at the helm! Do you think Davey Johnson thinks they can contend? I’d bet my 1986 eight-ball wrapper collection he does.
And why not? Without Howard and Utley for a good stretch, the Phillies find themselves offensively challenged. The Braves, still salty from their epic fail of 2011, certainly don’t have all the answers. I’m not convinced the Marlins are really any better than they were before they decided to blind us with ugly and the Mets are the Mets (though don’t sleep on them either, as a .500 season is not entirely out of the question).
The truth is, the NL East isn’t as predictable as it used to be. And the addition of another wild card team makes it possible to hope a little longer.
But the number one reason why the Natinals have a legitimate shot at competing for a playoff spot this year is… The ONE.
Okay, wrong ONE. But believe me, to Stephen Strasburg, there is no spoon. Also taking the red pill this year are Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler and (presumably) John Lannan. That’s one helluva starting rotation+.
When Bryce Harper eventually finds his way into the rabbit hole, there will be even MORE reason to respect the potential of the Washington Nationals (not to mention a tomfoolery fodder spike for Deadspin).
Would I put big money on the Nats now? Maybe not. Would I put money on them to be a cellar dweller? Absolutely not. This team could find its identity and they could do it as soon as now. They could be the ’11 D’backs or the ’08 Rays.
Better yet, they could be the 2012 Nationals. (see what I did there?)
Hate me ‘cuz I love Stephen Strasburg as if he were one of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Chess is life.
I love pitching rivalries, matchups within divisions and the occasional interleague throwdown. That’s a giant piece of cake for me!!!
What pairing will be this year’s best? Let’s examine the possibilities, with Bobby Fischer setting the stage…
“I play honestly and I play to win. If I lose, I take my medicine.”
Yu Darvish/King Felix!
“I like the moment when I break a man’s ego.”
Stephen Strasburg/Josh Johnson!
“Chess is war over the board. The object is to break your opponents mind.”
Jon Lester/C.C. Sabathia!
“Chess is a matter of delicate judgement. When when to punch and how to duck.”
Johnny Cueto??? Hmmm… Matt Garza??
My personal favorite pairing of all time — the one that really captivated me — is, of course, Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky. Sometimes Bobby battled himself even! (Fast Eddy Felson and Minnesota Fats come in a close second).
Baseball can’t start soon enough.
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Okay, technically it was more of a catfight than a bidding war, but I guarantee you it was fierce. I was in college at the time, and I somehow duped two girls into believing I was A-list boyfriend material. A gnarly girlpocalypse ensued.
It was awesome.
Then there was also the time in middle school where, for a small fee of one US American dollar, I would open up my father’s Playboy collection for viewing, all in the name of health and sex education, of course.
But I’ve never been Yu Darvish-ed before. I mean, I’ve never had a bunch of folks throwing MAD MONEY at me just for the opportunity to negotiate a contract. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but Nolan Ryan has never gone all in on my ass…ets. My assets. That’s what I meant to say.
Personally, I cannot WAIT to see Yu Darvish in action. I’ve been salivating at his proposed Major League entry since the ’09 WBC and now it looks like I may finally get my wish. Picture a 2012 season with an Adam Wainwright, a Stephen Strasburg AND a Yu Darvish!?!?!? Somebody douse me with Gatorade!
Meanwhile, if Yu’s people are any good, then they got their Newt Gingrich on before teams put in their final bids. You know it, I know it and the American people know it: no one sells access like the Grand Old Party.
Oh the Dems do it too.
Ron Paul. That is all.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Throw the Spaghetti in the Machine.
I’m a burning bush. I’m a wildfire. I’m singing in the rain and dancing again. Like Tim Tebow, I have a big god. BIGGER THAN ZEUS. I can put away my Club Confidential and stop pleasuring myself while crying. My iguana, Dudley, is beside himself too. We’re throwing confetti on each other, plowing through our best box of wine and eating marshmallows off the floor. For at least one week we’ll stop throwing flares at cars, getting arrested on our skateboards and falling asleep in alleys.
Because, for once, baseball took an unconventional route and picked fire-fire -flame-flame tapdancing bad@ss Justin Verlander as MVP. When we lost Buster Posey early in the season, Dudley and I had to act fast to find a baller we could have an unhealthy OBSESSION over; and Justin was our guy. He was the Hannibal Lecter to our Clarice. We even bought a special chianti.Dudley and I rarely missed a Verlander start. In between great Chrysler ads, he sat on my lap as we watched the Motown hero pitch deep into games, mystifying hitters, dropping jaws like change-ups. He was like Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler when he came back to take down Minnesota Fats. Nailed every rail. Hit every spot. Geometry and speed to perfection. (Fitting that Minnesota is in the AL Central too. See what I did there?)
It would have been easy to pick an everyday player like Granderson or Ellsbury. Sure, they had splendid seasons. But this was the year where a starter — the first since Roger Clemens — gave everything needed and CARRIED a team to the playoffs.
While defense in football can be boring, pitching and defense in baseball… I LIVE FOR IT. I wasn’t around for Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Wasn’t alive yet. But I love when the game offers pitchers whose starts you just can’t miss. When Pedro Martinez was in his prime I would’ve rather eaten my dinner off a urinal than miss a start.
And for next year? I’m looking at you, Stephen Strasburg. Throw the spaghetti in the machine and eat the children…
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And the Final Rose Goes to…
“Nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys just have to wait a little bit longer sometimes.”
In this all-Bachelor edition here at Setting the Mahmud, I’ve narrowed down who gets my lucky rose! No, not the MVP award — THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO THINGS AROUND HERE — we’re talking about my rose.
Stephen Strasburg wasn’t around enough this year, but he definitely gets an honorable mention, just because. Simmering optimism for next year, my friend. Also, no one should ever have to see what my face is doing right now.
Aramis Ramirez is usually my go-to old flame. That being said, I have an irrational dislike for how he runs the bases. (Sorry, Aramis. I never had the heart to tell you.) And now I’m looking for something a little more long term. I want to build a new life with someone special. I really can’t do a long distance relationship right now, and I’m not too confident Ramirez will be around much longer.
Buster Posey lost out early. It was no fault of his own (injury). BASTARD. I was rooting hard for him. He looked strong to start the season and was a returning champ from last year. Can’t hide the gimpy now though. There’s always next year!
Asdrubal Cabrera, the human highlight reel, would be a strong contender but this rose can go to only one…
Nyjer Efffin Morgan! MY GUY!! AKA, Tony Plush! Nobody does it better. What can I say?
Nyjer, my dear Nyjer, every moment you had on camera set my heart a flutter. THAT IS NOT WEIRD, PEOPLE. In fact, T-Sizzle could do odd things to me if he wanted.
I’m only mostly kidding.
Too strong. TOO GOOD.
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