If you were in the A’s bleacher section, and you could only choose one, would it be bacon or beer?
New Albany, IN
Jeff continuously tells me how engaging the NBA has become. According to him, it’s not just the quality of the professional game, it’s also the personalities and all the drama surrounding them. To use a direct quote, “It’s a goddamn soap opera.”
Baseball, on the other hand, is rather tame. Sure, there are historic villains like Ty Cobb and uplifting stories like Jackie Robinson and Josh Hamilton. But it’s all kind of “Touched by an Angel” while the NBA is more “The Wire.”
The perfect example of this is Jeff Francoeur and his love affair with the Oakland fans. Sure, it’s great that Francoeur has made a personal connection with the fans of another team. But is that really good for baseball? Wouldn’t it be better if Francoeur had left Oakland after coming up with the team and was greeted by a beer shower while trotting along the warning track?
That kind of rancor just doesn’t exist in baseball today. Albert Pujols left behind a city that adored him and although St. Louis fans are heart-broken, most of them still respect Albert and remember him fondly. Johnny Damon not only left the Red Sox, he went to play for their arch-enemy and shaved his beard. Boston fans were upset but they didn’t hate him with the cold intense hatred that Cleveland has for LeBron James.
Maybe it’s because baseball is played in summer and draws families out to watch games together. Maybe it’s the stir-craziness of winter and the 60 minute intensity of a basketball game that creates an aura around the game as a whole. Or maybe baseball just doesn’t have the same type of personalities you find in basketball. Let’s be honest, how often do you hear about a baseball player choking his coach or punching out a fan?
I don’t see that changing. Sure, I’d love to say that if I was one of those fans in Oakland, I’d keep the money and throw the baseball back. The fact is, though, I’d be thrilled to death. And that’s not just because being an A’s fan is even worse than being a Royals fan.
Somebody needs to spice things up a bit, give people a reason to hate. And no, I’m not talking about Milton Bradley, preschool-esque drama. I’m talking pure, LeBron James type anger. I think Francoeur has a golden opportunity to start it off, too, by taking that relationship he has built with the Oakland fans and totally misusing it. In fact, I even have the perfect recipe:
I bet no one would choose a caramel onion.
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Ty Cobb was a great baseball player but not a very nice person. Actually, he wasn’t a very nice baseball player either, regularly trying to hurt the competition. The thing about Cobb, though, is that he never pretended to care about other people. Love him or hate him, you could never say that he was a hypocrite. He did everything balls out and that included his racism.
That’s the difference between Cobb and two of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. When Cobb said something, he owned it. He was an awful person but he didn’t try to hide behind obfuscations and pseudo-intellectual drivel in an attempt to prove that he actually meant something else.
What is truly amazing is that 50 years after Cobb’s death, Rick Santorum can say he doesn’t want to “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money” and Newt Gingrich can regularly call Barack Obama “the food-stamp President.” And then both men try to claim that they’re just trying to help black people. I have a feeling that Newt’s phrase “I know among the politically correct you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable…” has a good chance of becoming the new “I’m not a racist but…”
The only thing black that Santorum and Gingrich should be talking about is the space inside their respective heads. Come to think of it, there was an article written about that recently, too. “Abyssal yawns 10 times the size of our universe.” Yep, that sounds about right.
Abominable Apocryphal Deplorable Illustrious Wonder
This weekend provided some flat out taint tickling and nipple pulling excitement golf at the Masters. And…guess what….because…wait for it…. Tiger Damn Woods was in the middle of it. Shocker.
If Tiger isn’t playing, I’m not watching. If Tiger isn’t in the hunt, I’m usually running naked through the yard, among other Sunday things on my to-do list.
The thing with Tiger is it’s so rare to watch someone be the absolute best at something. Jazz-wise we have Coltrane, Armstrong, Miles, Ellington, Parker, Ornette. Once in a lifetimers. I’m not necessarily a golf fan, but I am Tiger fan. I want him to get back to just assassinating the field every weekend he plays. It brings me joy to see anyone he’s paired with pee his pants and lose his s***, or as Ralphy Wiggums would say, “I have two kinds of wet in my pants.”
It’s not about how nice he is or was to the fans, or exceptionally boring and emotionless to the media. I couldn’t care less. It’s not about his love of whooouures. And it’s not about me watching to see a devoted, faithful husband church goin family man.
I want the stone cold killa. I want him to murder people. The way he used to.
I had no problem when Michael Jordan would talk trash, or be a complete pr!ck to his teammates; because his play was legendary. His competitiveness was legendary boarding on hilariousness. “Dude, Jordan just knocked out Horace Grant in practice! He’s so competitive…” “Did you hear Michael put arsenic in Cartwright’s Cheerios to motivate him? SO COMPETITIVE…”
To me, Barry Bonds was different because he cheated the game. Big Mac (Mark McGwire) cheated the game. I loved Jose Canseco (mostly for trading card purposes) as a kid, but he cheated and ever since he retired he has been completely worthless, (other than exposing some other users).
I was a Bulls fan growing up, but I know non Bulls fans across the world that prayed that they could witness in person what M-Jeff could do on any given night. To be there transfixed on the master transforming the court, baseline to baseline, into a cathedral of windmilling-above-the-rim-artistry. Poetry in white-hot electric motion. Also, the only guy ever who could pull off a Hitler stache….
In baseball, (believe it or not), some of the worst people ever are LEGENDARY PLAYERS. Or….as I would like to dub, the Veda Pierce division, (fyi, watch the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. Amazing. The daughter Veda Pierce is the worst, most vile piece of filth I’ve ever encountered in a film character. Yeeshh…WOMEN are awful to each other. The things women say to their own friends is unbelievable. We’ll save this for another time.)
A short list in the V-Pierce division……..Ty Cobb, (beat up a man with no hands once), Mickey Mantle (showed up wasted to games and told young endearing fans to buzz off), Bonds (liar…liar…cheat), Jeff Kent (renowned male member), Roger Clemens (no explanation necessary), Ugueth Urbina, (not so legendary but assaulted servants unwarranted with a machete for swimming in his pool, now in jail for 20 years…) etc…..
Tiger doesn’t have a great rep with the fans, but how many times were Nicklaus and Palmer miked up and how many times did they yell at fans to shut up or trash talked or cussed up and down the course that we’ll never know about?
We don’t ask the legends to be humanitarians, nor wonderful people. We need them to be heroes of their game. Our heroes won’t always be nice. But they DO things no one else can or ever will do. Everything else is perception mixed with irrational desire for purity. The true pureness is the game played at the highest level.
That’s all I want.
And Latrell Sprewell choking P.J. Carlesimo, because don’t we all want to choke P.J. Carlesimo at some point?? I mean….he tried to play Kevin Durant at shooting guard???
Sports networks love days like yesterday. As the conference championships finish up, the guess work kicks into overdrive. Who will be the top seeds? Who are the first four out? Who’s on the bubble? And is this finally the year when a 16 seed takes down a 1?
I’ve got nothing to add to this debate since my knowledge of NCAA basketball this year is pretty much limited to random John Wall highlights. And it’s still a little too early to start the baseball playoffs debate so that’s going to have to wait a couple more months. However, there is another debate I feel more than qualified to weigh in on. Which baseball player, current or former, is the biggest jack-hole?
More than a few players qualify for spots in this debate. I’m sure I’ll hear from people claiming a place for AJ Pierzynski. Curt Schilling and John Rocker probably have legitimate claims, too. However, I’m going to go with three who merit special consideration. Let the debate begin!
I love the Tigers despite recent disparaging commentary about my fandom. But the fact of the matter remains, if you want to talk about all time bad guys, the Georgia Peach has to top the list. I’m pretty sure he’s not even really dead but was instead secretly recruited by satan to stalk the earth, invisibly sliding in, cleats up, attempting to destroy the shins and ACLs of unaware people all over the world.
Barry, you may have the homerun record but you’re a stinking cheat and that’s how people are going to remember you. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I would like to punch you in your over sized head.
Former Tigers appear over-represented in this short list but there’s no way to pass up the senator from Kentucky. I understand his point in saying that the senate should have found a way to pay for unemployment benefits before passing the bill. But there are good and bad times to suddenly have an attack of principle. The middle of winter when people are out of work probably counts as a bad time.
Despite these guys’ well-earned reputations, there are still legions of fans who adore them. But there are also those who want to see them get some comeuppance. Ty and Jim are already in the Hall and like it or not, Barry will probably end up there one day also. That doesn’t mean we have to sit idly by and accept it, though. Just ask these guys.
Eastman Thune proved a Little Lord Fauntleroy!
I can’t think of a greater malfeasance than the continuation
of your poppycock and piddley-poo! While
casting a vote for the windy-city murderers to appear in the La Belle Serie
Mondiale is a safe (some would say namby-pamby?) bet, the notion that
Detroiters would be denied another time is tantamount to an Irishman demurring
at an unwatched distillery. A foppish
fantasy! Nonsense on stilts!
Ty Cobb dominated, ripped up the basepaths and the shins of
his opponents throughout the last saison, and this correspondent sees no reason
why this status should not remain quo.
And while a Killer Cubs World Series is plausible, there is no reason to
suggest they would easily win. They do
indeed feature a murderous pitching rotation, led by Three-Finger Mordecai
Brown (27 wins to 9 losses) and his bewitching colleague Orvall Overall
(20-11), and lead all the leagues in Chadwick’s newly devised Earned Run
Average (a tetchy 1.74).
But curse you Thune, calling for their dominance for the
duration of the cententary and beyond is nothing short of swinging a dead cat
in a Chinese opium den and feigning surprise when striking a harlot. It’s a virtual certainty, man! They have the most devilish fireballers, the
dandiest batsmen, and a crackerjack defensive infield of Tinker, Evers, Chance,
and Steinfeldt. Sweeter sibilance
couldn’t be dreamed up for any newsman’s reel.
Be that as it may, your tone of conciliation leaves me no
choice but to lob up a softball prognostication for you to masticate upon,
Alabaster, and I will not equivocate.
Look you to this come springtide: this season will show an unlooked-for
boost from the man of your last column.
I predict a mighty effort by those Cuyahoga Clippers, the Cleveland
Naps. Arrogant namesake though he may
be, I predict Napolean Lajoie will lead his upstart brigade nearly into the
pennant, only to have his efforts dashed by Cobb’s wizardry.
Confound you Old Man Winter, when will you forsake your
slumber for the gilded lilly of Lady Spring?
Men and boys alike trudge through the mush and brave the howling gales
for your respite. Come soon. Please?
We need your sweet breath, and the following crack of the bat.
– – –
Silas ‘Red’ Quigley
Editorial correspondent for the Boston Wax-Intelligencer. Editor/Publisher of various workers rights
publications, sporting weeklies, and Ladies Garment Journals. As a youth he was attache to Henry Chadwick (claims to be the
uncredited co-creator of the box score).
For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*
There are a lot of different kinds of weird. There’s the weird of realizing what had to happen between your parents to make you. There’s the weird of managing to be all tied up after 162 games. But then there’s the weird that, as my old Sunday school teacher would say, transcends all understanding. That’s right, I’m talking about the weird of watching Tom Delay on Dancing With the Stars.
Tom Delay. The Hammer. The man who was able to achieve a veritable cat-herding feat by first organizing the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives and then by keeping them in line. The man who helped redistrict Texas to such an extent that no Democrat will ever win outside their existing district for the next generation. And now he’s doing the rumba.
Let me explain this in layman’s terms. It’s like Ty Cobb quitting baseball to lead a civil rights campaign. Ok, maybe it’s not that extreme but it’s also not that far off. Perhaps it’s more like A-Rod leaving his gorgeous wife to date an over-the-hill pop star. Yeah, that sounds about right.
However, all of this oddness led me to an almost stunningly brilliant idea for another long-serving representative. Picture it: Nancy Pelosi leaves the Congress to lead a b-boy pack that takes America’s Best Dance Crew by storm. Hey, weirder things have happened. Just ask your parents.
Your mind is comprised of two
parts dung and one part wretch!
How dare you, sir, intercept
mail not intended for your ham-glazed grub-grubbing barnacle-encrusted
excuses for hands, and then proceed to not only consume said parcel,
but also reveal yourself as a virtuoso practitioner of the common club-footed
idiot’s box traced word waltz!
To start: The fruit your
colon passed with patriotic pleasantry is not called the ‘bananella.’
I haven’t the faintest idea what a ‘bananella’ is. I have
consulted several of the most amenable meta-linguisticists and word-alchemists
in my stable of resources, and, without fail, all have concluded that
the word ‘bananella’ does not exist. Therefore, it is either
an attempted nonsensical addition to the contemporary word canon (which
is already quite full, I can assure you), or it is just your latest
exercise in rump-rousting dipsh*ttery. My vote is for the latter.
QUIGLEY! THE FRUIT IN
QUESTION IS CALLED A ‘BANANALLA’ NOT A ‘BANANELLA’! PLEASE
SHOW SOME RESPECT TO TAFT AND HIS GLORIOUS ACQUISITION, THE PHILIPPINES!!!
THAT LAND WILL BE A FEATHER IN YANKEE DOODLE’S CAMP AD INFINITUM!!!
And please refrain from your
mail malarkey! That flagon (as a bunching of bananallas is known)
was not intended for you, but rather for your delightful wife, Hermilina.
Haven’t you hoodwinked her enough in this lifetime, you stagnant pond
of a man? You’ve already relieved her of her freedom to live,
love and ride her beloved bare-backs… why must you also stand between
her and fruit? Let the lass have some God-forsaken fruit, man!
But enough of all things personal!
Your ignorance took a break
from his paternity leave and certainly made a valid statement of fact — namely, that Cobb and his Bengalese brethren have taken a commanding
hold of league American, and they are most certainly out-performing
the goodfellow Lajoie and his Ohioans. For the record, we are in partial agreement: The Canuck
Lajoie is not of this country, and despite his good nature,
nevertheless should be kept at arm’s length. The land of Canada is
vast and mysterious, and my podiatric pedestals would rather take their
tickels from a Kaiser or Pharaoh, from this Moon’s day right up until
the Sun’s next! Many a seemingly kind and girthy red, northern face
has smiled at me claiming neighborly well-wishes, when the whole time I
was looking at the chompers of a scurvy-eyed gift horse!
That said, while the Detroiters
seem to be a lock to waggle the pennant American (hopefully they will
be able to hoist it a few times before Cobb uses it to rid his posterior
of residual defecate), they will nonetheless fall hard in the
World Series, at the hands of Chicago’s dear Orphans, the mighty child
bears, the blessed Cubs themselves.
To gaze upon America’s team
is to gaze upon a manifest destiny so bright in outlook, even blind
men have been seen turning away from the glare! The reigning World
Champions, while locked in a heated race with the swashbucklers of Penn’s
Woods’ Pitt-City, boast a far-superior club, and once they get their
ducks in order… head for the hills, dear opponent! Between
Mordecai Brown’s three fingered witchery, and Ed Ruelbach’s quiet
dominance, this club is poised to win championship after championship
for years to come. Cobb certainly will wish he was returned to
the stalk after facing one of the aforementioned mound dwellers —
same as last October.
The Chicago Cubs will win it
all once again!
What say you, Dingbat?
PS. How insightful was Frank
Chance’s sale of the quack Doc Marshall to the Superbas of Manhattan’s
armpit? Leave it up to Chance, say I! Leave it up to Chance!
PPS. Steal any more fruit bound
for the unappreciated beauty you call wife, and I will cut you nice
– – –
‘Alabaster’ Eastman Thune
Former editor of the “Follies and Whatnots” section of the Chicago Inter-Ocean.
“Alabaster” is known for coining the popular quip: “An Irishman and
his whiskey are like the Father Sky and his Sun – you are guaranteed
that the latter will show up in the former each day of God’s blessed
For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*