In 1991 the Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 7 games. In the final game of the Series, a single in the 10th was the hit that won it. Seven months earlier, 52 hits rained down on Rodney King and led to the LA riots in 1992.
I don’t think anyone would say that Rodney King was a good guy. The 1991 beating was the result of a DUI stop following a high-speed chase. But I also don’t think anyone would say he deserved to get his ass handed to him by a bunch of racist LA cops. With the videotaped beating and the subsequent trial of the officers, King became a cultural touchstone. The LA riots only added to the legend and King’s plea, “Can we all get along?” became part of our national vernacular.
20 years later, King has left the building. It’s odd to think about how someone who really only had a bit part to play in history ended up becoming so important to the recent history of the United States. I’m pretty sure just about anyone alive at that time remembers the beating, the trial of the officers and the ensuing riots. But how many people remember Jack Morris’ 10-inning shutout that clinched the Series for the Twins and clinched him the Series MVP trophy? King may not have been a hero. He may not have even been that good of a person. But his story still redefined a moment in American history.
The next time you’re late for work, spill coffee on your khakis and then get rejected by the hot gal at your local bakery, just remember: life could always be worse.
You could be a delusional sexist homophobe. Or, you could be A.J. Burnett.
Equally terrifying, I know.
But it just doesn’t get much worse than A.J.’s lackluster performance from Wednesday night. In fact, in the entire history of Major League Baseball, it was the single worst start by a pitcher since 1929 as Burnett was lit up by the Cardinals for 12 hits and 12 earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
But today is Friday, folks, and I don’t wanna release you for the weekend all depressed, so when that worst day ever does choose you as its next victim, make sure you watch the below video to remind you of the BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!
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.
Only a few weeks remain before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, which means we’re that much closer to the 2012 baseball season beginning with the St. Louis Cardinals reigning as CHAMPIONS OF THE UNIVERSE!!!
Hot dog! What more could a Fredbird fanatic like myself ask for on his birthday?
How about a decent bullpen?
And there it is: a beautiful, beautiful bullpen! Fernando Salas, Lance Lynn, Scrabble. And Motte to close?!?! Wow!
I have to go back many years (at the height of Izzy-mania to be exact) to remember going into spring training sans a bullpen worry (or nightmare). Having a closer whose calling card is missing bats is just the exclamation point!!!
And now for something completely different:
On Sunday I finished the Houston Marathon in 3 hours, 15 minutes and 19 seconds — a new personal best. And though it’s been more than 48 hours since I finished the race, not a minute has gone by where I haven’t found complete satisfaction in having accomplished the task. In fact, I don’t think I’ll stop reliving that race for a long, long time.
During my flight home to Chicago, I randomly ran into some fellow Cardinals fans friends of mine from waaaaay back. Odd as it is to bump into old friends in an unexpected place, I was quite happy with the brevity at which our conversation turned to the baseball glories of 2011, of Game 6 in particular, and how we kept our respective neighbors up that night, how our heart rates have never dipped and soared to such extreme levels. Reliving that game and that series at 30,000 feet was a pleasant testament to history.
I was reminded that you can never undo what’s been done.
And I’ll be reliving such glorious conquests for as long as I possibly can.
Hate me ‘cuz I ain’t never gonna stop gloating about the ’11 series, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s all good, dear readers, because it’s a NEW year with NEW goals and NEW impossibilities just WAITING to be made possible. So shake off that nasty hangover, nevermind that public health clinic visit you’re gonna have to make after who you took home last night and rejoice from atop the world!
Of course, if you’re a Cardinals fan like me, you can also rejoice from the top of the baseball world (that’s the only one that matters by the way) knowing that you can walk around with your chest sticking out for at least another 10 months or so. During our short break, I realized that finding a quick rebound lover would help me forget the unequivocal pain brought on by the loss of one Albert Pujols. Enter: CARLOS BELTRAN.
From Cardinal killer to Met scapegoat to hot stove spice, Mr. Beltran slips inside an already potent lineup for the repeat hunting 2012 squad. In fact, by getting Waino back and projecting a one through five order of Furcal, Beltran, Berkman, Holliday and Freese, I can’t help but git jiggy with the disco lights pulsating in my bathroom (don’t ask).
And as if that wasn’t enough excitement to start the new year, how about the fact that my fellow US Americans in Iowa seem to be ready for real change to our corporate-petting-taxpayer-blood-sucking government!?!? FINALLY, Dr. Paul is getting some love from voters, which has forced the left-leaning media to start several Bachmann-esque smear campaigns. This is what happens when the financially elite (who run the political machine) get worried about seeing their empire crumble.
But don’t worry. Dr. Paul will bring them down. Enough with the wars. Enough with corporate greed. Enough with buying things we can’t afford and wasting BILLIONS on pointless endeavors like the war on drugs. It’s time to start over and that means no more empty Obama promises from the left and no more delusion-pandering from the right.
Ahh yes. Pondering such possibilities make me feel just like I did watching D. Freese gork one over Nellie Cruz’s head.
GO CRAZY, FOLKS! GO CRAZY!
This is gonna be one helluva year.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s the thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Every December we like to take a look back at what happened during the year in RSBS. And with Christmas upon us and the annual RSBS holiday break about to take place, it’s that time of year again. Granted, there’s no way we could do this without all the hard work put in by the interns so I want to take this opportunity to personally thank them and ask them to keep up all the good work next year.
Now, before I get to the part you’re all waiting for, I want to take a moment to recognize a couple other people without whom this blog would be a much sadder place. The regulars probably know him best from his appearances on the podcast but for me, his occasional pieces really put into words what I wish I could express. In particular, this year I appreciated Mark Piebanga’s midseason post about Don Kelly. For me, it crystallized who the Tigers were at that point in the season.
Similarly, the brilliant ranting and raving of Johanna Mahmud always bring a mid-week smile to my face. Whether he’s once again lamenting the shortcomings of the Cubs via musical theatre allusions or cautiously hoping for change with the arrival of Theo Epstein, Jo hits the nail on the head as often as not in a way only he can. However, the edition of Setting the Mahmud that really did it for me was his takedown of the Red Sox in the key of Arthur. Nothing says b*tchslap quite like setting your role model loose on the AL underperformer of the year.
For the main event, though, I thought long and hard about the season my co-author had. I watched with amusement his two-part Libertarian “coming out” as he confessed his love for the still-feisty Ron Paul. I also applauded along with everyone else as Jeff completed his first marathon, and this from a guy who, two years ago, was out of breath after running a block.
But the real marathon was the baseball season and if you don’t believe me, just go back through the record. It started in April with Franklin’s blown saves and four months later, Jeff had all but given up on the Cards (and totally given up on the Rays). Just a few short weeks later, though, his dreams came true while attending his first World Series game and a few days later, that dream reached its apex as the Cardinals won the World Series. But as happy as he may have been in that moment, and all joking aside, I don’t think any of us could possibly understand how hard the Albert Pujols news hit him. Baseball, just like that marathon, has its extreme highs and lows. In 2011 we watched Jeff live them both.
Don’t forget our awesome Oakley Blender sunglasses give-away, made possible by our friends at Crown Royal! If you would like to win these sweet shades, all you gotta do is send us a picture showing why you are RSBS’ biggest fan. Email it to us at RSBSblog@gmail.com. The winner will be announced this Saturday, December 24th.