This Wednesday officially kicks off the 2012 MLB season and even though I’ll probably be fast asleep while it unfolds in the Far East, I’m sure the Japanese will be plenty excited about watching two awful teams compete against one another, especially since there’s at least one Suzuki per nine.
On this side of the pond, we have much, MUCH more to look forward to. In fact, I might need a good tazing before the Cardinals open up in Miami, just so I’m forced to sit down!
Here are some of the things that have me baseball-tweaking:
The GOOD Blue Jays Uniforms Are Back!
Still mesmerized by the awful logo redesign and poor color scheme that killed Joe Carter’s Blue Jays look in 2003, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the old logo back. And royal blue! No gray! Alongside the Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, I gotta say the classic Jays uni is about as smart and sleek as baseball uniforms come.
Grant Balfour Finally Gets to Be a Closer!
The 34-year old Aussie has been quietly waiting in the wings of every team he’s been on and now, finally, the Oakland A’s are giving him a shot at the closer role. I still think closers are overrated, but I like to think that maybe, if Balfour performs well in his new role, he might finally get paid what he’s worth. His numbers are fantastic and most people don’t even know who he is. I’m afraid playing in Oakland won’t help his popularity, but maybe Billy Beane will throw him another peanut. (Also, if you’re wondering, yes, Balfour’s fastball does have an Australian accent.)
I love Bobby Valentine. For myriad reasons. He’s cocky. He’s loud. His feelings get hurt. He’s controversial. He pisses off players, coaches, umpires. And he’s a goddamn baseball genius. HOLLA!!!
Good grief. The dude is gonna be FIFTY this year. FIFTY YEARS OLD. And he’s still gettin’ guys out. I absolutely love that. I love him! How can you not?!?!
And finally… you probably knew this was coming but…
WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m loud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Team sports pride themselves on their uniformity. It’s how you tell one team from the other and it allows the players to bond within a certain sameness. Which, when you think about it, isn’t so different from what the Soviets attempted to do. Treat everyone the same, make them wear the same clothes and assume that this will create a sense of community out of thin air. How’d that work out?
Is it any surprise, then, that those who play organized team sports back here in the US chafe against these strictures? We grow up hearing about how unique we are and how we can do anything. Then we go out to play a game and we’re put in matching uniforms and tied into a system.
The worst offender by far is NFL football. Just try wearing an unauthorized pair of shoes or the wrong color socks and see what happens. It doesn’t matter for the superstars because their wallets can absorb it but imagine being one of these guys making the league minimum yet wanting to show his individuality. That’s going to cost you.
I guess that’s another reason why I like baseball. Sure, you still have to wear a uniform and you still have to play by the rules but there’s some leeway. You can wear stirrups or the long baseball pants. You can wear a different colored shoe. You can cover your batting helmet in pine tar to the point that the team logo is barely discernible.
It’s one more reason why baseball is America’s pastime and why it’s stuck around through three different centuries. It evolves and it allows the players to show their individuality within the confines of the game in a way that no other sport can. MLB is Kennedy to the NFL’s Kruschev. We all know who came out on top in that one. Well, except that whole assassination thing.
The Drah-mah in Bahhhh-ston
Leave it to the Red Sox to be all dramatified in the offseason. As if their 2010 free agent signing flop and subsequent September fail-to-the-finish that included video games, fried chicken and an “Adios, Tito!” (let’s leave the beer out of this, shall we?) wasn’t enough drama for one year, they had to go and add to the pile by involving Bobby Valentine in their managerial search. Don’t get me wrong. I love Bobby V and I really hope he gets the job ‘cuz he’s a bad@ss whose mere presence makes the league better (and more entertaining); but he also comes packin’ drama. And the fact that the owners interviewed him before allowing new GM Ben Cherington to have his say suggests that the drama between ownership and the front office will continue to rival that of its on-the-field representation.
Pepper Spray: “It’s a Food Product, Essentially”
Fox News host Megyn Kelly should consider a move to the Food Network. I think spraying Emeril Lagasse with a jumbo-sized canister of pepper spray would add some much needed tension to their programming. And besides, pepper spray is “a food product, essentially”.
At a time when a Lil Wayne-impersonating white dude from Pittsburgh is tops on the music charts — in effect CRUSHING my hope for a revival of real, genuine rap music — I would like to personally thank the Toronto Blue Jays for coming back to earth, for finally being real. When you have a classic look, there’s never a reason to change it. The Yankees have managed this. So have the Cardinals. Sure they update to keep up with trends, but the core design never changes. The Blue Jays had one of the classiest, cleanest, most memorable unis in all of baseball.
And then they changed it all for… black and gray?
It’s good to see them making good decisions again.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff tries his darnedest to be as polite as possible during his unfettered gloating of World Championship status (Go Cards!) while Second City’s Mark Piebenga adds some level-headed awesomeness to Johanna’s outlandishness and Allen’s seasoned straight man routine. Among the topics of discussion are “the greatest game ever”, the woes of rebranding an already twice championed franchise (talkin’ to you, Marlins), Theo Fever in the Chi, b!tch t!ts and much, much more!
Now grab some Crown Royal and enjoy yo’ self!
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Recorded Saturday, November 12, 2011
Outside those of the Yankees and Cardinals, I have to say the Los Angeles Dodgers uniform is one of the smartest, snazziest and most iconic uniforms in all of baseball history. Admiring that crisply clean white jersey hosting an artfully playful blue cursive script and resplendent red digits, it’s hard not to fall in love with its glamor. Throw in the Hollywood factor and it just becomes that much more impressive.
But if we’ve learned anything about the Dodgers in the last year, it’s that looks can be deceiving. The team is in dire financial straits, they’re not playing very well, and to make things worse: they owe Hall of Fame fraud Manny Ramirez over $8 million.
Meanwhile… tall, lean and handsomely square-jawed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney looks… great. I mean, dude is Ronnie Reagan 2.0 with more money and better ideas. In fact, if Republicans didn’t know any better, they might think Mitt leans a bit to the left. His liberal domestic policies and urgency to end U.S. participation in the Afghan war against the Taliban are perfect examples.
However, like the L.A. Dodgers, when we actually pull back the curtain on the swaggering Republican politico, we find something a bit… um… awkward:
Hate me, hate me, hate me all day… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.
Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.
Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person. I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy. But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.
So here ya go. Let the judging begin!
Yankees fans, I’m judging you. You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?! When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”. And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.
Mitt Romney, I’m judging you. Come on, dude. How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!? Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?
National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you. Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?! Good grief! Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime? You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal. Just ask Whitney Houston.
Donald Trump, I’m judging you. The birther thing, well, I can see past that. But your hair. Seriously. It’s not funny anymore. It’s disturbing. I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.
And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…
MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you. If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size. Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s Thursday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Every time I turn on the TV or check the news, all I hear is budget this
and spending that. And it seems like there’s a race to see who can
slash the most and do it quickly. If MLB took the same approach, what
could be cut and what should be cut?
Oh, dude… Ramon… spending cuts in baseball?!? Well, it’s your lucky friggin’ day, my friend, ‘cuz I’ve just been waiting — WANTING — to slash the baseball budget for eons — to shred it back to its more recognizable roots.
Here’s but a shortlist of what could and SHOULD be cut from baseball, all together:Uniform Spending
You get one home uni and one road uni. One. Each. You rip it or get it dirty or stained, you deal with it, just like in little league. I don’t care if ya gotta run a shoestring through your pants to keep ’em up, you do it. And none of this alternate jersey crap. White. Gray. That’s it. Also, we’re making them out of wool.
It’s bad enough I gotta pay $44 friggin’ bucks to be assualted by the plebeian tongues of Chicago sCrUBS fan bleacher bums at Wrigley, but to pay $7.25 for a 16 oz can-o-crap (Bud Light)… someone oughta be caned for that sort of crime.
“God Bless America”
Um… if we HAVE to sing this during the seventh inning, then we HAVE to sing “Here Comes Santa Claus” too, ‘cuz Santa Claus is MY favorite mythical creature, m’kay? Whether you believe in god or not, this song has no place in our grand game. To make me stand up to prove I’m a patriot is even more asinine. I love my country because my country says I don’t have to conform to some crazy ideas thought up by a crackpot who has his own best interests in mind. Also, by mandating this song be sung, we are excluding our friendly neighbors to the north, who’ve never been the same since losing the Expos. Frankly, I’ve never been the same since losing the Expos… so let’s find a non-religious song that exemplifies NORTH America’s awesomeness… like, how about something by Rush?
Get that done, Ramon, and we get our game back.
I mean, seriously… have you seen Rush play live?
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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