Tagged: Writers

No-Brainers Made Complicated: Now It’s the ‘Norm

mark mcgwire celebration.jpgI’m sorry, but did the National Bureau of Economic Research just inform me and myriad dear readers, that indeed the United States of America’s economy is in a (daresay) recession?


I beg your pardon, but did our Dear Leader, in an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, admit his own incompetency by saying “I think I was unprepared for war”?


As if the mass exodus of once-successful business owners to the overcrowded unemployment line in my Southside Chicago neighborhood wasn’t reason enough to believe.  As if the tense gazes of disgust from world leaders and record low approval rating during Bush II wasn’t enough reason to believe.  Well, folks, believe it; and believe that the spindoctors are just going to keep getting more and more convoluted as they assume we US Americans are as dumb as they are obvious.

Because apparently, the new status quo put forth by those in power has regressed to that of an unnecessary complication of issues that should otherwise be clear as day.

This has never been more true as we go into the third year of Mark McGwire Hall of Fame eligibility, where once again, I predict the baseball writers will find it in themselves to be a group of holier-than-thou judgmental jack^sses who consistently confuse clarity with integrity.

Did McGwire use performance enhancing drugs?  Maybe.  Probably.  We don’t know for sure and we never will.

Did McGwire’s awkward Capitol Hill exchange further damage his image and cause us to question his character?  Yes.  Definitely.

Should it matter when considering him for the Hall of Fame?

Hell no.

Hands down, Mark McGwire should have been a first-time ballot Hall of Famer.  His numbers, his performance, his legacy and the positive impact he had on the game alone should have put him in on the first try. 

While I dare not minimize the damaging stain PEDs have left on the game of baseball as well as the youth of our nation, I still believe in the democratic principle of one being “innocent until proven guilty” and until someone proves that McGwire broke the rules, he deserves to be remembered as a Hall of Famer.

Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson… sure, waffle on those guys.  They deserve to be waffled on a bit because they’re not stand-out no-brainer players.  But McGwire?  Give me a break.  Give him a break.

And beware, for Barry Bonds will soon be in line for the same retrospection.  Look, as much as I dislike the man as a human being, I cannot conceive a Hall of Fame without Barry Bonds’ plaque.  Baseball writers, your job is not to teach lessons to suspected bad boys.  Your job is to reward players for having Hall of Fame careers despite their antics — whatever and as displeasing as they may be.  Remember, Ty Cobb, arguably one of the most disgustingly erratic, singly detrimental members of the entire human race, is rightfully in the Hall of Fame.

Get over yourselves, writers.  You’re not judges.  You’re not the police.  You’re not God(s).

Do the right thing and put Mark McGwire in the Hall of Fame.  And while you’re doing that, prepare for the barrage of suspect PED users, headlined by one Barry Bonds, who will soon be eligible for HOF consideration.

The world will be watching and I will be quick to slander. 

So yeah, go ahead and hate me; I only ask that you don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.




Apocalypse When?

MLB writer Scott Merkin got a little ahead of the times today in his story on how dandy it would be if the 2008 World Series became a Windy City Classic.  Here we are, three weeks into a six month-long season, already breathing air into the pipe dreams of those who embrace cutesy coincidences.  I don’t blame Scott for writing this story.  The man has to eat and I expect that someone over at MLB in charge of selling fantasies pushed him to write another what-if speculation story to conjure up the dreams of the masses.  But I can’t just sit back, smile and nod at these shenanigans.  I have a real problem with uncreative, dainty MLB story lines that serve one purpose and one purpose only: to drive sales.  I mean, come on… The I-70 Series?  Seriously?  Cardinal/Royal fans could care less. 

And now we’re talking about a Northsider v. Southsider World Series.

Excuse me while I puke.

It’s April.  AprilApril and we’re talking about the World Series already?

Would a Cubs/White Sox series be entertaining?  Sure.

Would a Cubs/White Sox series be good for the city?  Definitely.

Would a Cubs/White Sox series lead to senseless violence?  You bet.

Is it too early to be bringing something like this up through the MLB newswire?  Absolutely.

Save that intercity match-up story for the back-to-back weekend series in June.  Then, and not until then, let’s see where the two teams stand.  In June, I won’t be upset at seeing a flowery story about what-ifs and intercity rivals. 

aj.v.michael.prequel.jpgaj.v.michael.1.jpgSee, I don’t think Scott Merkin quite understands what kind of fires he has started in my neighborhood by writing this story so early.  Mark Buehrle was exactly right when he said: “There would be a lot of fights and a lot of bad stuff…”.  No kidding?  When I moved to the Southside, the first question my new neighbors asked me wasn’t what’s your name, it was are you a Sox fan? with suspiciously violent eyes.  Buehrle would go on to say there would be “good stuff” too, but let me tell ya, the bad will overtake the good and will steal the majority of headlines.  You can count on that.  Riots in the street, gang shootings, violence towards goats, these will all come with a Chicago WS because while Yankees and Red Sox fans hate each other, Cubs and White Sox fans want to kill each other.

If the two teams meet in October — which is such a far-fetched idea at this point that I am only commenting on it to seal up a thought — you’ll be able to find me in the Oppenheimer war bunkers under the University of Chicago with a six-month supply of baked beans and canned pineapple.  I’ll be out in time to see the Bears’ allegiance to mediocrity.  By then, most of the fires will be out, broken bones healed, and oxygen levels back to normal.

Or so I hope. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.