Sometimes my unbridled enthusiasm for all things baseball blinds me from realizing that the very people I am rooting, booing and screaming for are actual human beings — real folks with real problems, real desires, emotions and dreams. Taking a step back, getting to know who these baseball players really are on an individual level can be just as rewarding as watching them perform on the diamond.
And such is the case with St. Louis Cardinals reliever, Trever Miller.
I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to cursing Miller’s name on more than one occasion. While he’s ordinarily a pretty solid solid arm out of the bullpen, there have been times when he got himself in trouble, leaving me throwing things at the television, begging him to go back to Tampa.
For that I am ashamed. And sorry. After all, it is just a game… and the game is there to help us deflect attention from our real world obstacles. Let us never forget that.
Trever Miller is a runner. I found this out recently as he was featured in the March 2011 issue of Runner’s World; and his story is as heartbreaking as it is empowering. As the article reports, Miller began running in the offseason as a way to stay fit, but it soon became a passion. And once he began taking his daughter, Grace, who suffers from a rare chromosomal disorder that has left her paralyzed and mute, on his regular runs by pushing her in a special stroller that weighs 100 pounds, he found that running offered he and his daughter a communal joy that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
As a runner myself, I can relate to that indescribable high that is experienced through the sport. But I will never know the obstacles, the pains, the seemingly insurmountable adversity that Miller and his family have endured in recent years.
Trever Miller is no longer just a baseball player for a team that I love; he’s a guy who loves to run, just like me, a man who has found ways to stay positive despite debilitating setbacks, and he’s a father whose love for his child knows no limit.
He’s a goddamn hero.
That’s what he is.
And for that, I tip my cap.
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.
In his last post, my oft misguided and ever self-loathing colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, offered up some morbid thoughts on how to pass the next several weeks while we wait to thaw out and spring into some serious baseball action. Poignantly defeatist in nature, Mr. Krause squashed our spirits more than he uplifted them, as more lamenting on the sad state of Detroit sports franchises and focusing on the natural discourse between Iran and the rest of the world leaves little else than a tinge of bitterness.
Dear readers, there are many more things you can do with your time. For instance…
Postulate How Many More Superbowls the Steelers Will Win Before the Pirates Get Back to the Post-Season (If They Ever Do)
Already the winningest franchise in NFL history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have long drowned out the cheers (if any) from the Pirates faithful. But don’t worry, ‘Burgh, the 2009 Pirates boast a lineup that features the likes of Jose Tabata, Brian Bixler and Nyjer Morgan! Whoo-wee! Get out the ticker-tape, ya’ll! I’m feeling a bit like 1991!
Count the Reasons Why Ann Coulter Has No Soul
Verily, this woman is as crazy as A-Rod is attention hungry. In her most recent blog post (dated 1/28/2009), she had this brilliant quip to share:
“The only reason McCarthy was elected to Congress in the first place is
that her husband and son were shot by a crazed gunman on the Long
Island Rail Road in 1993. Colin Ferguson’s shooting spree wasn’t
stopped sooner because none of the passengers had guns. As has been
demonstrated beyond dispute at this point, armed citizens save lives.”
There is no way these words came from a live human being complete with a heartbeat and the ability to actually feel. No way.
Waste Your Life Away by Playing the Harold Reynolds Drinking Game
(I don’t personally recommend this, but if you’re looking for a quick, painless way to hibernate until Opening Day, click **here** for details. And when I say “painless” I’m lying.)
Try To Nail Down How Many Games the Cardinals Will Finish Behind the Cubs in 2009
Let’s see, there’s Adam Kennedy, Trever Miller, a busted up bullpen virtually unchanged from last season, question marks at third base, second base, starting rotation, no one to protect Albert Pujols, the reality that LaRussa and Duncan will most likely be gone next year, and we still have Bill Dewitt and John Mozeliak at the helm! Folks, that’s just the beginning… I won’t go in to how good the Cubs look, how fresh and exciting the Reds look, how explosive the Brewers look, how nagging the Astros look. Ooh boy, can’t wait to battle Tabata, Bixler and Morgan in the ‘Burgh for the NL Central Toilet Bowl!
Okay, so I admit, my suggestions are just as morbid and defeatist as Allen’s… but if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that a laugh — a good, hearty, gut-cleansing laugh — can last us a while… or in this case, a long, long while:
Now that is what I call comedy!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
A smile, a wink and a good old fashioned Chicago roundhouse to the face and everyone seems to have forgotten that Rod Blagojevich is the scum of the earth who not only embarrassed the millions of people who chose him to lead but also tainted the already highly critiqued political machine known as the City of Broad Shoulders. And let me tell ya: it’s really friggin’ hard to embarrass a city known to root for those lovable bastions of disappointment: the Chicago Cubs.
Indeed, after a brilliant array of surreptitious spin-doctoring, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President-Elect Barack Obama swiveled from one extreme to the other and now favor seating Blago-appointee and Chicago granddaddy of patronage, Roland Burris, to the US senate. To quote Jack Buck, “Excuse me while I stand and applaud.”
(*clap, clap, clap)
Yes, dear readers, Rod Blagojevich may appear to be a complete idiot, but his sinisterly savvy move of handpicking Burris to take Obama’s place (accented by the potentially trumping race card) just proves that he’s way smarter than anyone ever thought. In fact…
Dude is wicked smah’t.
Meanwhile, many of you may see my flippant ferments to dispel equally corrupt John Mozeliak from the Cardinals’ helm as mere exercise in futile hyperbole, but believe me when I declare my absolute sincerity — that my dissatisfaction stems from a sound place: my undying loyalty to preserve the winning spirit of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Whether you like it or not, Mozeliak is corrupt. Anyone who thinks he can throw around pretentiousness disguised as frugality in the Cardinals’ front office is corrupt. Anyone who squashes the fans’ perennial hopes for a pennant (before the season even starts) while the hated Cubbies build and build and build only to get better, is corrupt. Anyone who “rebuilds” a severely damaged bullpen by signing the likes of a lukewarm lefty named Trever Miller or Royce Ring — mere band-aids on a gaping, gushing head-wound — is corrupt.
Yeah, sure, Tony LaRussa is extremely intelligent — so much so that he hid Mozeliak’s ineptitude for most of the 2008 season. With Dave Duncan at his side, it’s no secret that LaRussa has fixed many a troubled bargain-bin pitcher — whatever riff-raff Mozeliak (and Jocketty before him) could dig up and throw his way. But how long can we expect TLR’s elite level of intelligence to conceal the GM’s corruption?
One of these days (probably sooner than later) LaRussa and Dunc are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and walk away.
One of these days (probably sooner than later) the Illinois legislature (and the Democrats as a whole) are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and send Blago on his way.
At least, I hope as much.
Intelligence can’t hide the scandalous scars of corruption forever.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
For the record, Dear Readers, I am only one and three quarters of an inch shorter than my self-aggrandizing friend and normally trustworthy colleague, Mr. Allen Krause — not “a lot shorter” as he so vainly suggested in his most recent post. Inches, mere inches, I really am not one to be fraught over inches. In so being, I would like to extend the arm of peace to my friend by quoting Rebecca West when I say Mr. Krause “is every other inch a gentleman.”
And with that bit of business out of the way, I would now like to take this opportunity to ignore the Cardinals’ recent acquisition of Khalil Greene. Why? Why would I disregard such a move that even I admit looks to be beneficial for the 2009 squad? Because of Trever Miller, that’s why. The addition of Miller to the bullpen is supposed to make me feel better, Mr. Mozeliak? Hardly. Give me Brian Fuentes. Give me J.J. Putz. Give me a real closer. Give me something!
Let’s look at something more interesting… like the freakazoids who inhabit this planet. Not satisfied with your everyday sports memorabilia? How about you get on eBay and buy some game-worn underwear soiled by your favorite superstars Alex Rodriguez, Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis?
No? Perhaps you’d like to make a deal with the devil herself and get behind the liberal head-hunting train, because, in her opinion, it’s your duty as an US American to hope your new administration fails. Duh. Of course, Ms. Coulter’s got it right: nothing’s more American than hoping your American brethren suffer beyond measure.
But folks, this is just a small sampling of the oddities gnawing at my corrigible conscious. The recently acquired RSBS staff (graciously borrowed from Russell at Arizona via Slough who seems to have gone on an extended vacation) has gone through the StatCounter files and found quite the eclectic collection of keyword searches leading the masses to the hallowed pages of RSBS. There are a slew of nutball examples, but I’ve pulled my five favorites for your viewing pleasure:
“Allison Stokke Drunk”
Okay, okay. I get it. She’s hot. Unattainable even. So you think you gotta get her drunk first to have a shot. Well, she could be lying dead in the middle of a desert and you still don’t have a shot, Sicko!
“Wemen Hitting Mens Balls”
Hmm. Alright, let’s pretend that the spelling error doesn’t exist — that this is just a case of a concerned individual who wants to know how women should go about hitting men’s balls. Hmm. Nah, still doesn’t make any sense.
“Kwame Kilpatrick In Cuffs Picture”
Right on, brother. Right on. Detroit has never been more proud.
Yep. I feel ya. I voted for him just because he’s from my neighborhood too. Well, that and it was the right thing to do.
“Attractive Chinese Wemen”
Whoa! How did you know? Oh, and also, a word of advice: you might want to learn how to spell “women” before you start looking for them on the internet.
I know this — from experience.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.