As a Cardinals fan living in the Chi, the baseball season never really begins for me until St. Louis comes to town and I get my first taste of blood as I camp out at Wrigley for a weekend. Black eyes, sprained ankles, hoarse voice… all welcome reminders of just how deep (and serious) this rivalry can be.
But the older I get, the clearer I see, which is why I can say with brutal honesty that the Chicago Cubs are the absolute best rival a fan could ask for.
Yep. That’s right. They’re the best. Because they don’t… win… championships.
Think about it. Yankees fans, remember how awful you felt when the Red Sox overcame in 2004? And what about having to watch Papelbon’s antics during the 2007 run? Reverse that and imagine the utter malcontent suffered by the Red Sox for eons while the Yankees ran up the World Series trophy count.
Giants fans must’ve been sick watching Kirk Gibson’s shot in 1988. And likewise, those Dodgers fans who saw Willie Mays’ catch seal the deal in 1954 couldn’t have been too happy.
But we Cardinals fans… seriously, what the hell do we have to be sick about? We have the best player in baseball, we have arguably the best manager in baseball, and our arch rivals haven’t won jack scheisse in over 100 years.
With that in mind, as I prepare for the annual battle that is Cubs v. Cards, this year I’m gonna focus on the fact that this rivalry is a lame duck rivalry — that I can be confident my team will be better. Therefore I am going to focus on the visual pleasantries that (surprisingly) can be found in abundance at the Friendly Confines.
Now, wish me luck.
Hate me ‘cuz I try to see all the angles, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Much of the political uproar over the past week centered on Rush Limbaugh’s address at CPAC in which he reaffirmed his desire to see President Obama fail. Understandably, many people are up in arms over this statement but some of them seem to be upset for all the wrong reasons. Obama is not the messiah and he will have policy failures. The sooner we accept that inevitability, the better.
But there is another reason why Rush’s words should have incensed us. Not only is his naive desire to see our country’s problems worsen ignorant at best, it also goes against everything we’ve been led to believe. America is a country built on dreams, MLK’s dream, the American Dream, even Obama’s dreams from his father, and failure, although sometimes an intermediate result, is never a goal. That’s where Rush gets it so wrong.
In America, we love dreams and we love seeing people pull through when everyone else is sure they’re going to fail. Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series. Willie Mays’ catch. The Tampa Bay Rays’ run to the pennant. No one gave any of them a chance but somehow they managed to overcome failure and succeed beyond their (and our) wildest imagination. When failure is an end instead of a means, dreams die and you become irrelevant.
Rush’s problem and, by extension, the problem of the Republican Party is that their actions have begun to cast them as irrelevant to the national debate. Wishing failure on your opponents doesn’t make you a seer. It makes you a streetcorner prophet, carrying your cardboard sign and sleeping on a park bench at night. It doesn’t signal engagement but rather disengagement.
The real issue and what Rush is afraid to say is that it’s not so much that he disagrees with Obama as it is that he has no solution of his own. After the experiment of the past eight years proved morally and financially bankrupt, how could he? However, the purview of the streetcorner lunatic has always included yelling louder than everyone else and making sure that yours is the voice that stands out. In that respect, Rush can truly claim, “Mission Accomplished.”
An interesting discussion arose yesterday based on Jeff’s post about Bud Selig’s “coolness.” Basically, the question of who Selig’s successor will be introduced itself into the commentary and made for some light jabs at the soon to be ex-president. However, the more I think about it, the more I think that the best possible person for the job would be my old friend, George W. Bush. Think about it.
There’s no possible way that GWB could run the league more ineptly than
has Selig. Now, I know his record of fiscal spending has not been what
one might call conservative but Bush’s handling of the Rangers as a
managing partner showed the first flash of business acumen that had
made his father and grandfather rich men. And who knows, maybe that
compassionate conservativism would make him want to help lower ticket
prices. I can dream, right?
Additionally, the man knows and loves baseball. You get that from watching him and from listening to him talk about the game. The Rangers definitely became a better team under him than they have been in the past several seasons and his actions made construction of a new ballpark possible. In addition, his dad even played baseball while attending Yale.
All of these things make him the anti-Selig. When I see Bud walking around, I get the feeling that he’s never even worn a baseball glove. He’s the guy who’s mom pinned a note to his shirt to get him out of gym class in middle school. It would be a nice change to have someone who actually cares about the game shepherding the league.
As if these weren’t reasons enough, I’ll leave it to the man himself to give the best reason of all. In the words of our 43rd president, “I never dreamed about being President, I wanted to be Willie Mays.”
So, it may still be a few years away but I would like to officially nominate George Walker Bush to be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. And George, if you need it, I’m sure my friend, Mr. Lung, would be more than happy to be your chief-of-staff.
I understand that in today’s world there is surmounting pressure to dumb one’s self down in order to gain acceptance — to fit in, to be liked. Satisfaction can be had by the simple click of a mouse; children’s role models come in cute, skinny Paris Hilton and Justin Timberlake packages; department stores offer “free gifts with purchase”, knowing that people are just begging to be duped.
I am not one of those people.
Of course, the backlash can be unsettling, but I remain steadfast in my intelligence despite the ever-growing pressures of modern society. I do my homework. I know I’m right. I am in touch with the people even if that means being smarter than theyare.
Allen Krause, on the other hand, intelligent as he is on paper, fails to overcome the pitfalls of conformity and it has never been more evident than in his last two posts: The Filibuster, 67 Years…and Counting.
I refuse to waste any more time correcting the flawed logical processes of my opponent on the magnitude of hitting .400. I also refuse to delve any further into whether or not today’s players are more prepared than they were 60 years ago due to advancements in technology, scouting, preparation. The bottom line is, I was right the first time, and I still am.
However, there are two major issues I must address here because US Americans deserve to know the Truth and shouldn’t be subjected to the wreckless writings of a man so out of touch with reality and so out of touch with the people’s needs rather than the people’s wants that he is willing to lead conforming masses down Blasphemy Road.
Mr. Krause wrote:
“…Barry Bonds was usually stuck out in right field.”
No, sir. Barry Bonds played left field. Any one who doesn’t know that automatically loses all credibility and doesn’t deserve to have a voice.
Mr. Krause also wrote:
“Willie Mays’ basket catch is replicated on a daily basis by minor leaguers all over the country.”
Oh, really? Is that so, Mr. Krause?
Do me a favor. Sit down, take that tin foil off your head, remove the mainlining needle from your arm and come back to Earth, pal.
Replicated on a daily basis? That is the absolute dumbest thing I have ever heard you say and you’ve said a lot of dumb things. Obviously, you know nothing about one of the greatest baseball moments of all time: Willie Mays and The Catch. And I guarantee you that this play is NOT “replicated on a daily basis by minor leaguers all over the country”. If it was, the so-called players making these so-called plays would be so-called Major Leaguers. Your statement, Mr. Krause, cancels itself out, double-talk, double-talk.
For the record, what made Mays’ catch The Catch wasn’t exactly the act of making an over-the-shoulder basket play on the ball, extraordinary as that was. What made it so spectacular, according to those in attendance, was the fact that Willie was playing a very shallow center field in the extremely spacious Polo Grounds of New York when Vic Wertz connected on a bomb blast. It would have been a home run in today’s ballparks — and it was evident right off the bat that the ball was going to soar over an unsuspecting Mays.
Except Willie Mays had crazy speed.
He broke, he ran and he ran and he ran and he looked up, turned around, put out his glove, caught it, whirled around, fired to second, and his hat fell off.
That was The Catch. A ball that no one else in the world would’ve had a chance to catch. Mays caught it.
Shame on you, Allen Krause, for attempting to steal the thunder from perhaps the greatest baseball player of all time. Shame on you.
In all honesty, I do feel sorry for you, Mr. Krause. It must hurt to know you’re just another victim of the trappings of conformity. It must hurt to be but just a tiny grub in the food chain of a menacing Trapdoor Spider. I can’t imagine what that must feel like — but I’m sure it ain’t good ‘cuz I’ve seen the footage (*note, the good part is at the end):