Gary Sheffield: The Original Milton Bradley
Before there was Milton, there was Gary. Yes folks, Gary was whining and crying and kicking the dirt and picking fights and pissing off fans and management and teammates and saying stupid things long before Bradley. And now, as if shown up by woe-is-me Milton, Gary has announced he’d like to come back and play in 2010. So even if Milton is teamless next year, we can still count on Sheff to aggravate the baseball cosmos… if any team is willing to take him that is.
Besides using it to piss off professional baseball players, I have found Twitter to be an excellent tool for networking and socializing with like-minded baseball nerds. Of course, Allen and I get our fair share of spammer tweets, but I had never seen anything like this before:
“I LOVE GREEN APPLES!”
“I LOVE GREEN APPLES TOO!”
Of course, this is not a real person. It can’t be. Looking at her (his? Its?) page you’ll see it’s just a long string of random non sequiturs. But boy was I duped! Without a gibberish username, grainy profile pic and messages like “please visit my nude profile”, I guess I got *ahem* quick handed.
Where the Hell is Allen?
In case dear readers are wondering, my loquacious and oft incoherent colleague is still very much alive. He’ll be back. Soon. He’s sorta recovering at the moment. You see, he had an issue… an issue with his… esophagus. They even made a movie about it:
Itchy portrayed me with excellence I must say.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m cruel, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
During this summer of über celebrity deaths and disturbing political failures, I have been very reluctant to address the most disappointing development of the 2009 Major League Baseball season. But alas, my faith (and patience) has finally come to a vitriolic end; and I have no other choice than to accept it:
Dear readers, the comedy genius of Coco Crisp is dead.
Perhaps it was always too good to be true — that the perfect storm of a fledgling, Twitter-happy, center fielder with the intelligence of a midge and a hapless baseball team touting the skills of Kyle Farnsworth would be enough to entertain me from now until October.
Indeed, it was good while it lasted. With his nonsensical, grammatically-challenged rhetorical tweets, Coco succeeded in technocracy where he failed as a Royal. But then he went on the disabled list and, finally, had season-ending surgery.
He tweeted a few times after he hung it up for the year; but sadly, he has not tweeted since June 24th and the absence of his familiar incoherency has left us all grieving.
On this day, Coco, we remember your last golden quip:
OK i officially
have a new (baseball) disease called PPA (Piss Poor Aim). Everytime i
hit a ball hard PPA kicks in. There has to be a cure.
There is no cure, Coco. If there were, well, you would’ve done much better than .228.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**We tweet. And we like to think we can pick up the Coco-comedy slack. Follow us! @RSBS
The truth is: I was going to leave this one in the proverbial scrap pile of unprocessed information otherwise known as my oft useless brain, but after reading this touching letter to Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitski, I decided this might have a place.
I mean, I already infuriated Barry Zito (or at least his handlers) earlier this year by writing the truth: that during his Giants tenure, he hasn’t performed as well as that lofty contract might suggest. Before I knew it he was blocking me from his Twitter account and I was wallowing in the kind of sorrow that only comes from not knowing what band Barry Zito thinks “rocks” or what type of scarf he’s going to wear to the polo club to impress his famously hot girlfriends.
So I certainly hope that when I call out Padres pitching prospect, Mat Latos, for acting like a bratty child during pre-game activities at this year’s Futures Game, that he doesn’t block me from watching his so-called Tim Lincecum-like delivery on MLB.TV.
Oh wait. Why would I ever want to watch a Padres game? Nevermind.
Still, much like the young fireballer Latos, I too am trying to become established, to make a name for myself, to be noticed. And the truth is, Mat, you and I, we can be a team. Maybe…
First you will have to brush up on your people skills. For example, when little kids ask you to toss a batting practice ball up to them in the stands, I wouldn’t fake-throw it (like one tends to do with his dog because watching a dog chase nothing is funny) then laugh with your buddies at how clever you are. And I also wouldn’t spend most of that shagging time trying to launch errant balls high up into the upper decks (and fail miserably) because those balls were falling down onto we little people at high speeds and someone could have gotten hurt.
See, the thing is, Mat, I know you’re young and all that talent has probably gotten to you; still, remember that you’re living a dream — that you have been gifted with the ability to play a game… for a living — and that your personality on and off the field will have a whole lot to do with how we plebeian fans perceive you. Don’t care how the fans perceive you? See Barry Bonds for more information on how it can go horribly wrong.
Lucky for you, Mat, I’m a pretty understanding guy. And I can be a snot-nose sometimes too. I won’t fault you for that… but remember who you are aiming your snot-nosedness at, Mat. The kids. Remember the kids.
Those kids — kids who look up to you even though they have no idea who you are, ‘cuz let’s face it, right now you’re a nobody just like Lastings Milledge is a nobody — those kids, when you mess with them, they don’t take it so well.
Remember that and you will be good to go. I almost guarantee it. Okay, I sorta guarantee it.
Good luck, Mat! Hope to see you around the ballpark and maybe — if you feel lucky — you might even consider attacking my character… when you get a break from being the next Tim Lincecum that is…
Hate me ‘cuz I call ’em out, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(“Crying Kids” image courtesy of The B.S. Report)
Make one declaration to the worldwide interwebosphere about how you’re going to do everything in your power to land a date with the most beautiful woman in sports broadcasting and suddenly you’re considered a creepazoid stalker who could use a lesson or two in social tact.
Creepazoid? Maybe. Tactless? Probably. Stalker? No, sir.
I made my intentions very clear; and I’m pretty sure I was a perfect gentleman. It’s 2009, y’all, and the internets is where it’s at. I mean, you can do everything on this crazy series of tubes: order takeout, save money on your car insurance, get Twitter-blocked by Barry Zito. Why should chasing Erin Andrews be any different?
“But, Jeff,” my mother said, “what if your girlfriend reads this?”
“My girlfriend does not read this blog, Mom.”
Boy, was I wrong.
I tried to play down my actions of sneaking around my girlfriend’s back to get a real shot at Ms. Andrews, but she wasn’t as understanding as I had hoped. At least now she knows; and I am happy to report that she hasn’t broken up with me over this so things are working out pretty well. I mean, let’s face it, a couple of cigarette burns to the chest are well worth her allowing me to continue on with my special project.
Still, there is just one small problem: Erin Andrews is a lot more mobile than I. And, well, ESPN hasn’t helped me with passing on my messages (sweet as they all are).
What Fulbright Scholar would let such foibles deter him from accomplishing his task?
Indeed, I have a plan. You see, I bought tickets to the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis. I’ll be there for all the fan festivities: old-timers game, home-run derby, futures game — four days of pure debauchery — and a possible encounter with Ms. Andrews herself… that is, as long as Joba Chamberlain doesn’t get in my way (but who would make him an All-Star this year anyway?).
Hate me ‘cuz I got skillz, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There comes a point in the season where we sit back, take a deep breath and wonder why baseball doesn’t have cheerleaders. I mean, the WNBA has cheerleaders, why not MLB? But never fear, faithful readers. After much deliberation and some top of the line work by the interns, we have a special gift for you: the RSBS all-star cheerleading team.
Since the squad is created to further our love for and appreciation of baseball, it seems only natural that Ms. Milano, the black widow herself, would lead this team. Just keep her far, far away from Justin Verlander. We don’t need him to go Barry Zito on us.
Despite Ms. Stokke’s tangential at best relation to baseball, we give her a position on our team because, well, because she’s pretty and we like looking at her. Do I really need more of a reason than that?
Although not a choice that I would normally make, Ms. Andrews makes the team out of respect to my friend, Mr. Lung. And at least we can point out that her relationship to baseball is well-documented and ongoing. Welcome to the team.
Although a bit of a dark-horse contender, Ms. Heller routinely establishes her bona fides, especially after the Yankee Stadium program dust-up earlier this year. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also the top ranked MLBlogs fan blogger and that counts for something in our book. We’ll just have to ignore the fact that she’s a Yankee lover.
Anyway, although it’s a small squad, we think you’ll agree that it’s also a very impressive group. And we really hope that our honorees take it in good fun because honestly, we’re really just jealous of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date Barry Zito? Well, as long as he didn’t Tweet about it.
Having barely recovered from my colleague’s audacious yet titillating post from yesterday, which featured the buxom awesomeness of one Erin Andrews, I am sure you can imagine how exhausted I was this afternoon. I was so worn out that I almost didn’t even have the energy to be shocked at the following news stories:
- United Kingdom Bans Michael Savage for Being a Ranting A-Hole
- University of Illinois at Chicago Bans Students from Shaking Hands (thanks a lot, swine flu, how are the kids gonna hook up now?)
- MLB Bans Manny Ramirez for Testing Positive for PEDs
Okay, I admit, that last one isn’t really all that shocking considering the myriad priors of Manny Ramirez buffoonery. Still, to be banned for 50 games? Now that is saying something! Kudos to Major League Baseball for throwing the hammer at a big-time rule-breaker not named J.C. Romero!
While the entire social networking world is going wild over this steroid ban by Tweeting and Facebooking and MySpacing and Moshpitting opinions at lightning speed, let us not lose sight of the fact that there is an awful lot of banning going on in the free world — some warranted (Manny), some not (UIC students).
And like most things trendy, tired and trite, RSBS strives to get in on the action. So here is a short list of things that must be banned in the very near future:
BANNED: Paula Abdul’s Sobriety!!!
Wonder why American Idol ratings are down? You think Adam Lambert and Simon Cowell can carry the show? Ha! Think again, squarepants. Give me a whacked out loopy Paula and I’ll show you some damn ratings!
BANNED: Kyle Farnsworth’s Glasses!!!
They are not helping! A 7.56 ERA? Opponent BA of .314? Somebody get this guy some steroids! Stat!
BANNED: Paying Attention to Rod Blagojevich!!!
Seriously, does anyone really care anymore?
Now that Virgin is revolutionizing space travel, just think of how many asterisks we will need once baseball is being played there! Stop it now while we can!
BANNED: The Yankees’ Ability to Beat the Red Sox!!!
Oh, wait, we already did that.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If I were making $126 million over seven years for a team that invested its future in me assuming I would be the one to anchor its pitching staff, I think I would probably focus on being a good pitcher.
But if it’s Barry Zito in that position — which it is — apparently none of that is important.
Dear readers, welcome to Zito’s World: a super hip fantasyland where losing 30 games in two seasons with a 4.84 ERA is worth every penny of that $126 million; a place where winning games in April is never a priority; an imaginative mirage where baseball meets Hollywood starlet meets aspiring rock star meets absolute shock that people would be just a wee bit vocal about his seemingly laissez faire attitude.
Look, there is no question that I have been a staunch critic of Mr. Zito. Yes, I suggested his 2007 and 2008 pitching woes were rooted in his unprofessional preoccupation with movie star female companionship. Yes, I coined the phrase “Zito Happens”. Yes, I poked fun at his childish, uncensored Tweets which made him look foolish — pining for “cab cakes”.
But none of that seems to warrant the fact that Barry Zito — the millionaire pitcher who up to this point hasn’t done a very good job of making good on that Scott Boras super-contract — blocked me from his Twitter account.
Juvenile as his actions are, I still cannot help but chuckle. I mean, here I am lowly Joe Six-Pack, unpaid aspiring writer, committed MLBlogger and informed baseball fanatic, trying to get seen, be heard, find a voice…. and Barry Zito does me the grandiose favor of reading what I write and hating it enough to block me from his 10,000 plus following.
Now, I understand that being a multi-millionaire, playing the greatest game on earth for a living and personifying the American dream is probably really hard on the soul, Barry, but come on, don’t you think you deserve it? Just a little bit maybe? Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Man up, Barry. Get over yourself. Do your job and people like me will have no choice but to shut up.
Until then, you will remain back-page fodder for the masses.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
P.S. Barry may have blocked me from following him on Twitter, but I can still access his Tweets and laugh because they look like they’re written by a 12 year old as they tend to focus on the importance of Radiohead, farting in the shower and men layering with scarves. Nice work, Barry. Nice work.
P.S.S. Despite the aforementioned aggravation I am experiencing from Zito’s actions, I am still living a good life, visiting Washington D.C., hanging out with one of my best friends and co-author Allen, ready to see the Cardinals play the Nats tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Heading over to the White House now. Pics/Story to follow.