Before you start jumping to conclusions, dear readers, let me just say that I don’t think Vice President Joe Biden’s aides were in the right for locking Orlando Sentinel reporter, Scott Powers, in the closet during a recent Alan Ginsburg-paid soiree to raise money for the 2012 election campaign. If Biden’s aides are as sexy and savvy as the RSBS interns, then they surely had a good reason for keeping Mr. Powers confined to a small space for such a long time.*
As a bonafide megafortified soused-out baseball fanatic, I can honestly say that I’d like to keep a few players in the closet for the entire 2011 season, so that I can concentrate on the games being played rather than the asinine soap-operatic subplots of the whiny and perpetually irritating.
Who shall we keep locked up this season you ask? Well, I’ll tell you:
This is a tough call because Nyjer’s antics often result in beanball wars and Jeff Lungian smackdowns — both staples of maintaining my healthy psyche. But, when a player constantly runs his mouth and ends up getting his teammates hurt, then I think it’s time to get out the jaw-wiring. Besides, Morgan’s a
Nat Brewer. No one will even notice he’s gone.
He’s an idiot. He’s a birther. He’s an Oriole. And all of those things make him… irrelevant. A perfect candidate to be closeted. For the season. All of it!
And finally, if we’re going to be throwing folks in the closet for the season, let us not leave out…
I know that being a Seattle Mariner inherently keeps Milton’s whining out of the headlines (few people care to read the perils of such a slogging team), but this dude isn’t just a baby. He isn’t just a clubhouse cancer. He’s also a wife-beater. Not only that, but the man is not a good baseball player. He had one decent year, got paid and then went back to being a snake.
To the closet they go!
Hate me ‘cuz I’m slingin’ mud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*This is also how Mr. Krause’s parents shielded him from the temptations of adolescence.
Ask anyone in my Southside Chicago neighborhood who they’re voting for this November and you might hear about a lot of Jim Thome/John Danks ticket write-ins. For now. While we all know how easily the magnanimous momentum of baseball can change, what we know for sure, at this exact moment in time, is that the Chicago White Sox are indeed the AL Central Champions.
So, EAT IT, Mr. Krause!
While you’re doing that… our dear RSBS readers would like to know the answers to the following:
What hurts more, Al? The Sox winning the Central or your Tigers being puke-spitting awful and finishing in dead last?
What keeps you up at night, Al? Not being able to win an argument or not putting in the time to win an argument?
Wrap your head around those inquiries, Mr. Krause. I understand that you may need a minute or a day, year, decade. That’s fine. By the time you’ve formulated your meticulous thoughts, I bet Sarah Palin will be writhing in her own talking points as she prepares to take on Senator Biden on Thursday night.
But hopefully, we’ll hear what you have to say by the time the Cubs drop their first game to the Dodgers.
It’s all in the timing, my man.
So go ahead. You’ve done it before. Sure, go ahead and hate me, Al, but don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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This week saw the introduction of instant reply — a
technocratic advance many still consider blasphemy — in Major League
Baseball. Currently, the only calls
deemed debatable are homerun calls. But now that the surface has been cracked, is it not only a matter of time before
we are reviewing foul balls down the line, close plays at first and dare I say
the strike zone? Where does one draw the
line and how will this impact the overall game?
Ah yes, the ol’ slippery slope argument. If we do “x,” then “y” and “z” must follow. It’s an argument politicians have used for years to hold out against reforming everything from farm subsidies to gun ownership. But, the fact of the matter is that the argument holds no water.
Beyond that, however, is an even more important distinction when it comes to instant replay. The use of replay for this one small area of the game is a huge improvement over the old system.
Just this past week, replay was used to uphold an Alex Rodriguez home run and the game neither came to a screeching halt nor did the ghosts of long dead major leaguers suddenly come flying out of the ground to right some injustice that had been done to their memory. Replay equals innovation and evolution in the game.
In the old system, a bunch of middle aged men who saw the ball’s path from 300 feet away would get together and debate what had happened. Often, they got it wrong. So now, instead of paying the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be necessary to put extra umps in the outfield, MLB came up with a suitable alternative.
No one who truly calls their self a baseball fan wants to see the abolition of the umpire. The call at home plate in a swirl of dust and dirt is as much a part of the game as the wooden bat and pinetar covered batting helmet.
But instant replay adds to the game. And in fact, in honor of its resounding success during its first week of use, I’d like to see it applied in other places where it’s never been seen before.
For instance, I’d like to see an instant replay of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention the other evening. Maybe then we can discover how someone who’s views so clearly fall outside the mainstream (creationism taught side by side with evolution?) has become an overnight media darling.
No matter what, instant replay is here to stay along with the DH and All-Star Games that have way too much of an impact on October baseball. Instant replay, though, that’s change we can believe in.
“huge gamble.” Of course, you could argue that an even bigger gamble
took place when Pete Rose threw down money on games or when Tim Donaghy
decided to just throw a few games in the NBA. What do you think is the
biggest gamble (legal or otherwise) that has taken place in baseball
recently and how does it compare to McCain’s?
Gambling, throwing all you’ve got behind one decision, taking a risk… these are paramount aspects of the game of baseball. Without them, the game would be boring. When players and managers break from the norm and go out on a limb, we get excited: distancing oneself from the same old thing causes excitement.
And there has been no shortage of temerity nor bold decision making in our most beloved game over the last several years. Of course, as a Monday morning quarterback, it’s easy to call these moves audacious, ill planned, unrefined after the fact. Sometimes, as in the case of the GOP’s pick of one Sarah Palin, the decision need not be analyzed over and over again to find sound reasoning: there just isn’t any.
Like Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS after giving up three straight hits with only five outs to go and a three-run lead. That was dumb no matter how you look at it. And if it weren’t for 2004 and 2007, Sox fans would still be teeming with angst.
Like scores of players (McGwire, Bonds, Giambi, just to name a few) cheating their fans and cheating themselves by altering their physiology in order to make an extra multimillion or three, break records, tarnish the game. While I understand the desire to perform at the highest level possible, I tend to admire the natural approach over the Frankenstein method. With information regarding the rigorous side effects of performance enhancing drugs being as known as ABC’s — these guys took a big, dumb gamble and now — for the most part — we despise them for it.
But in my opinion, the biggest recent risk sure to backfire on the gambling party was the cave-in decision made by the Red Sox to ship Manny Ramirez out of Boston for Jason Bay. The baseball pundits have spoken, and I have to agree: Jason Bay — no matter how good he is — is no Manny Ramirez. The Red Sox may squeak into the playoff picture, but they are not near as good now as they were with Manny in the lineup and I expect they won’t make it too far without him. The whining and crying of Ramirez was nothing new to Boston’s brass and erasing him from the team not only left a hole in the four spot, it also diminished the impact of one David Ortiz.
And losing Ortiz at-bats to walks sure does make a difference in the wrong direction.
Of course, there are always those gambles that seem ludicrous yet turn out to be smart in the end as well.
Like Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa batting the pitcher in the eight hole to create more opportunities for Albert Pujols. Though seemingly odd because it was such a staunch break from the norm, essentially what TLR has done is make sure AP gets up in the first inning, then contributes as a clean-up hitter for the remainder of the game. It’s hard to argue against that logic and I’m surprised more managers haven’t followed suit.
TLR isn’t the only NL Central manager who has gained notoriety for his arduous risk-taking skills. “Sweet” Lou Piniella, when faced with an ailing Kerry Wood, had nothing but faith in a young rookie call-up from Notre Dame. He threw Jeff Samardzija in the limelight and hasn’t looked back since. With Samardzija pitching as well as he has in recent months, the Cubs bullpen, for the first time that I can ever remember, has suddenly become an asset rather than a liability.
But no gamble in recent memory has turned out as splendidly as that taken by White Sox GM Kenny Williams in trading Chris Carter to the Diamondbacks for Carlos Quentin. Sure, one could argue that giving up a relatively unknown minor league first baseman for the once considered underachieving Quentin was hardly a risk. But put in perspective: trading Garland for Cabrera and Linebrink, cutting Podsenik, resigning Uribe, demoting Josh Fields, putting faith back in Joe Crede while giving a young Alexei Ramirez a shot at second base… Kenny Williams has been a very busy man and the moves he’s made — while controversial — have all turned out for the better. The White Sox have rediscovered their grinder swagger and as I predicted at the beginning of the season, have made a case for winning the AL Central and beyond.
I don’t know what political affiliations Kenny Williams has, if any, but I do know that the GOP’s decision making skills pale in comparrison to the Sox GM. The invasion of Iraq, the atrociously late and unorganized response to Hurricane Katrina victims, the gross misspending of our inflated tax dollars… and now putting Palin — a woman so unqualified to lead a nation that I can’t help but tell myself this is all just a big joke (punchline to come?) — in line for the highest office in the land; all I can say is:
That was dumb.
And let me tell ya, you can go on and hate me for my wordy rhetoric, my inspiring the people, my loose analysis of managerial decisions, but you shouldn’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
“The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and
Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled
together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have
not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the
United States of America.“
— Barack Obama, August 28, 2008
We here at RSBS realize
that we have spent a great amount of time this season in what some
simple-minded individuals might consider exacerbating the divide
between hard working baseball-loving Americans. But let me just clear
the air and say that what they see as divisive, we see as unifying. We do what we have to because we can, we will and most of all: we care. When we see injustices, when we endure the pains of partisanship, hear the cries of the people, we have little choice but to report the truth and expound cautionary messages.
And sometimes we might just piss you off.
Well, not today, folks.
After last night’s call for unifying hope among color and party lines, I have nothing in my heart but love. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one:
as you already know: I’m no idiot. It is painfully clear that John
McCain’s “congratulations on a job well done, Senator” was as smarmy
and spurious as it was preplanned beyond anality. But I’m feeling
splendid today. I’m feeling patriotic. I’m feeling swept up in an
emotional wind of change. I’m ready to reach across the aisle and be
nice to someone for no other reason than to be nice to someone. And
just for today, I want to believe that McCain’s gesture was at least
rooted in good will.
So, here’s my crack at it:
Dear Cub Fans:
have a really great team this year. I’m not just saying that. You
do. Your team has the best record in baseball (at the time of this
publication) and they have what it takes to go a long way on both sides
of the field. The Cubs’ pitching is great. Cubs’ hitting is timely.
Your team has a wise and great leader in Lou. I know I give you a hard
time for the banality of your collective souls, for being obnoxious, for your whining and crying all the time; but hey, I just want to tell you job well done on supporting your team for actually playing well. That’s so good of you.
Dear McCain Campaign:
You did a really cool thing in choosing Sarah Palin as your Vice Presidential nominee.
Job well done. I’m not even going to mention that your whole campaign
platform against Senator Obama revolves around his alleged
‘inexperience’ in politics. And on that note, I won’t bring up the
fact that she has next to no high profile ‘experience’ in
leadership. And believe me, I’m not going to waste time calling this
move what it probably is: a meager attempt to shift focus from the
strong warning shot of change resonating throughout this great land.
Yes, Senator McCain. You really are a maverick. You are awesome.
Dear Yankees Fans:
your team isn’t so hot this year. So what. Jason Giambi’s fashion
statement is pretty cool. Sure, it will never match the infamy of Giambi-on-Juice, but hey, at least it reminds us of one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes, right? Okay, so the Giambi mustache won’t be a classic; but it will be remembered.
And in a season that has a million reasons why you’d want to forget it,
at least Giambi came through in the clutch by taking your mind off all
of your woes, if just for a day.
Dear A.J. Pierzynski Haters:
really admire your persistence and passion for hating one baseball
player so much that you would comment on this blog by using the phrase “AJ P is a piece of crap” (see comments, fourth one from the bottom). That is classy. That is brilliant. And it stands out as a truly mesmerizing use of the English language. Job well done, A.J. haters.
Dear Detroit Tigers:
You guys are doing an awesome job of acting like you still care about
the remainder of the 2008 season. I know that your thoughts are really
on what type of yacht you’ll be purchasing for that winter cruise
around the Venezuelan coast, what with all that money you raked in this season without having to… well, you know, win
games. Believe me, I think I know how hard it is to feign interest in
something that I’d rather not be doing just so I could collect some
dough, so I commend you all for your standout steadfastness in pretend attentiveness. That’s what I call a job well done!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s official. Joe Biden will be Barack Obama’s running mate for the 2008 presidential election. I’m okay with it. Really. I am.
I only hope that this duo will be reminiscent of the one-two punch of Schilling and Johnson who took it all the way in 2001.
I only hope that this duo will look more like Gehrig and Ruth on the field rather than Gehrig and Ruth off the field.
I only hope that this duo has enough to beat the critics and become the mighty force that Big Papi and Manny Ramirez became in Boston.
Will Biden being Biden become the hottest new catchphrase of 2008? While my hopes against that happening remain high, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit my anxiety that Biden may demand a trade at the very last minute.
Hold on to your seats, folks, dear readers, my fellow US Americans…
We’re just gettin’ started.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Let us take a look at who’s crying about nonsensical surface crap today:
Hillary Clinton: “I wasn’t even vetted”
So? Who cares? You lost the primary. Get it? You lost. That means: you didn’t win. Why not being chosen as the party’s candidate should make you an automatic lock to be vetted for V.P. is beyond me. US America already decided that you weren’t the one to represent, so why should you be considered for the position? Since when does losing make you eligible to be second in command?
The answer: it doesn’t.
Those Who Won’t Accept the Fact that Money Can’t Buy Everything
Finally, it ain’t all about the benjamins, folks. The Yankees, the Tigers… they’re not going to make the playoffs this year despite their big fat payrolls. This makes me extremely happy. Now you know how it feels — Yankee fans — to be a midwesterner rooting for a small market team. How you’re feeling right now is how we feel almost every year. Doesn’t feel very good, does it? Well, now you know. Oh… and Tiger fans… you know this feeling all too well; it’s just extra special sad for you this year since you decided to pretend to be the Yankees with your wallets this season. Whoops.
Cub Fans Who Are Upset that they Haven’t Been Crowned World Series Champs Yet
Look, I get it. The Cubs are good this year. They’re really good. As much as I hate to admit it, you won’t get an argument out of me. The thing is (and believe me, I know: see St. Louis Cardinals 2004, 2005 as to why): you have to play through August and then September and then the playoffs (NLDS, NLCS, WS) and then you have to win all of those series too to be considered the World Series Champs. You can’t just go and crown yourselves with six weeks left to play. My advice to you? Chill the hell out. Let the Cardinals and Brewers battle for the Wild Card and just be glad you’ve made it this far because we all know the Cubs — if anything — will always be the Cubs (double meaning intended).
Cry all you want, but don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.