My dubious and oft out of touch with the public colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, shocked the baseball-politico world on Monday when he compared his beloved Detroit Tigers to the stiff stylings of Mitt Romney. Now, lining one’s self up with the far right fed Tea Party and Christian Coalition is one thing, but talking out of one’s posterior in a public forum is another.
Mr. Krause said:
The Cardinals are playing with a ragtag team and no longer have master strategist La Russa at the reigns.
Ragtag? RAG? TAG?
What’s so ragtag about being World Champions? What’s ragtag about Holliday? Freese? Molina?
Carlos Beltran? Allen Craig? Chris Carpenter?
WHAT IS THIS RAGTAG YOU SPEAK OF, MR. KRAUSE?!?
The only thing “ragtag” about your REIGNING… WORLD… CHAMPIONS… is that they might play this before each game:
Oh, wait. That’s ragTIME.
Like it’s time to grab a rag and wipe up the locquacious mess left by my colleague.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As we enter the beginning of the most exciting time of year (baseball playoffs and football season and an election, oh my!), I think it’s important that we keep in perspective that which brings us the most joy. Sure, hosting a Guinness keg party while dressed in my Yadier Molina jersey flanked by the Shannon twins is pretty much the happiest day of my life (that hasn’t happened yet but might), I still know that even if all that other stuff falls through, I will always have baseball.
And sometimes, within the game of baseball, we can find something much simpler that pushes the happy button. I know a lot of folks have been wrapped up in the admirable and impressive play of Mike Trout. People are just as infatuated with his grace and dominance as I
was am infatuated with Stephen Strasburg and all things Strasmas. It’s the little injections of youthful awesomesauce that often remind us why we love baseball so much. It is a kid’s game after all.
But sometimes waiting for the next big thing isn’t necessary. I have found that out this year by following Coco Crisp very closely. My history with Crisp has been one of hilarity, peppered with some dazzle. And while his offensive numbers may not hypnotize scouts, enough can never be said about how he plays the game.
He plays hard. He plays to win. He’s in on every pitch and he goes balls-to-the-wall. In fact, I have gotten to the point where I’m watching replays of his relay throws and conducting frame-by-frame analysis on his routes to fly balls.
If I could get to Oakland, I’d rather watch Crisp long-toss than Cesepedes take BP.
Okay, so maybe I’m lyin’ a little bit in that last sentence, but one thing is for certain: Coco Crisp’s defensive play is worth focusing on and if you focus long enough, you’re probably going to see something that puts a smile on your face. Maybe even an afro.
I’ve watched the play about a 100 times now — each time the pain rings out through my own body, more and more. I’ve often heard about mothers feeling their children’s’ pain — lovers experiencing each others’ physical ailments.
This is what that must feel like.
Watching Yadier Molina get crushed is something I will never be able to fully accept. But I’ve watched it over and over and I really do think Josh Harrison had no other choice. Yadi did his job. He took away the plate. The only way Harrison had a shot was to go under, over or through Yadi.
Yadi’s a beast. Over and under were not plausible options. Harrison’s only choice was to barrel through.
It sucks to watch your man-crush get pummeled, but I watched Mickey Ward get destroyed once too, and he came back like the champ that he was.
Yadi will be back too.
So please, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
When it comes to my favorite holidays there is, of course, April Fool’s Day, National Cleavage Day and My Bent and Oft Hoodwinked Colleague Gets PWNED by a Commenter Day.
But nothing — I repeat: NO-THING beats Opening Day.
To celebrate, I give you DRUNK Rick Sutcliffe:
Now, if we could just get a Play Tennis In Your Underwear Day.
Happy Opening Day and Let’s Go Cards!
Just like A.J. Burnett in a Pirates uni, this is going to be ugly, moan-inducing and might even warrant a trip straight to the DL.
New MLB Playoff Format
In short, I like it. It emphasizes winning the division, makes trade deadline trades more suspect and guarantees drama as we enter the postseason. The only thing I can think of that would make this arrangement better is to skip the one game playoff and force each wild card team’s manager to do a keg stand before engaging in a last-man-standing no-holds-barred boxing tournament. My money is on Ron Washington. Cocaine makes ya crrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaazzzyyy!
Bigots Leading the Republican Party
Whether it’s the Pennsylvanian Taliban or the Ditto Führer of Ignorance himself , I’m getting quite tired of seeing Abe Lincoln’s party fall victim to mass idiocy. But I found something that will really cause ’em to scratch their heads:
Yadier Molina: Five More Years
Halle-FRACKIN-lujah!!! Seriously, I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. To those outside of the St. Louis Cardinals family, such jubliation may not seem warranted, but let me assure you: this is a grand, grand deal for all involved. Say what you will about Albert’s tenure, Yadier Molina is the absolute heart and soul of the St. Louis Cardinals. And everyone’s happy now. Yadi’s happy. Front office is happy. The fans are happy.
A few years ago I wrote a cautionary piece foretelling the eventual departure of one Yadier Molina — SUPREME JEFFY MANCRUSH — if the Cardinals somehow didn’t resign Albert Pujols to a long, career stabilizing contract. I wrote it flippantly, thinking this will never happen in real life.
And then real life hit.
Albert Pujols is gone and Yadi doesn’t seem to be as in love with the Cardinals as the Cardinals faithful are in love with him:
“I love the city. I love the fans, I love the park. But it’s out of my hands. Whatever they like to do is how it is … They let Albert [Pujols] go. It’s business for the team, too. It’s out of my hands.” (source)
Um… wrong. One, dearest Yadier, it most certainly IS in your hands. And two, the Cardinals DID NOT “let Albert go.” They made him a very good offer, one that would most likely highjack the team for the latter half of this decade, one that would have made Albert a very, very, VERY rich man.
And he declined.
For more money.
I don’t have a problem with millionaire ballplayers chasing the money — but I do have a problem with framing the situation in a salacious manner. To say the Cardinals did not put any effort in retaining Mr. Pujols’ services is as reckless as it is inaccurate.
Here at RSBS, it is no secret that Yadier is my most beloved Cardinal. The St. Louis brass would be wise to pay the man whatever he wants, and I would applaud their efforts to do so.
But if I’ve learned anything about professional sports the last few months it’s that I’ve been clinging to the delusion that athletes give a f*** about the “home team”, about creating a “legacy”, about “loyalty”.
It’s about money and it will always be about money. I’m okay with that now.
If the Cardinals do the right thing and throw bank at Molina to keep him, then I’ll be ecstatic. But I also live in reality these days, so I’m fully prepared to see him in a Halos jersey in 2013.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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
The afterglow of knowing your team is champion of the baseball world is a pretty damn cool thing. I have been walking around the last few days in a sort of “Happy Flight” daze. I’ve been smiling more. I feel fantastic. But yesterday morning, reality hit me: there won’t be any more baseball for a looooooooong time.
And then the text messages started coming.
Did you hear?
OMG Tony is hangin’ em up.
Are you okay? I just heard about TLR.
When Tony LaRussa took over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996, I was just an awkward, acne-plagued high schooler who nerded out on keeping score at baseball games. Now, 16 years later, I’m an awkward, 32 year-old professional who nerds out on keeping score at baseball games.
Not much has changed, yet much has changed.
In the early 90s, the Cardinals weren’t very good. But from the minute the announcement was made that he would be the new St. Louis skipper, I immediately had a new found sense of… hope. It was innate. It was from within. I don’t know why, but I just knew: our team was going to be good.
And we were! From 1996 to the present, there hasn’t been one year where I didn’t think the Cardinals had a legitimate shot at the postseason. Sure, some years were better than others, but with Tony at the helm, I have always had a sort of calm about the team.
That’s not to say he hasn’t made me scratch my head. But I soon learned to stop questioning his umteenth pitching change. His post-game explanation always made sense. Our pitcher is hitting in the eight hole? Of course he is. Bringing in the closer in the 5th inning? Exactly what I would do. In fact, I learned very early on that if I was going to keep score during a TLR managed game, then I was going to have to a) write small b) write small and c) WRITE SMALL.
Still, I am going to miss Tony LaRussa. A lot. Just thinking about someone else being in the dugout with his job gives me the creeps. My happy place is Tony giving the sign to Yadi. Yadi fires down to first. Albert makes the tag on the runner. And right now, in light of TLR’s announcement and the ongoing question of whether or not Albert will be back in St. Louis next year, my happy place suddenly finds itself under baseball siege.
But, like everything else in life, I will just have to deal with that shizz when it comes. In the meantime, I sure hope Tony doesn’t consider becoming an actor. I have been suffering through the Ray Vinson commercials long enough.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m gettin’ misty eyed, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
For those of us caught up in the modern technocratic lifestyle, establishing a clear line between friend and foe makes life a bit simpler (albeit unpleasant at times). When prompted for an opinion, we often don’t have time to think; we must know, must be ready to jump on a topic and run. And this is where established distinctions are helpful (even if detrimental to peace — sorry!).
It’s 2011 and enemies abound. In the NBA, LeBron is the antithesis of good. In politics, we have Sarah Palin. In humanity, it’s Charlie Sheen.
But what do we do when our “enemies” aren’t that bad at all?
Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that not only caused a bit of embarrassment for me and my fellow bird fanatics, but also knocked the Cardinals out of first place all together. Am I angry? Do I want to hold my breath and take a hammer to my digits? Am I going to hurt someone?
No, of course not. It’s June and the NL Central race has barely begun. But I must say, even if it does come down to St. Louis and Milwaukee in October, I will have a hard time hating on the Brewers like I do the sCrUBBIES.
On Saturday, I went to Miller Park for the very first time and I have to say: it’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people genuinely enjoying our beautiful sport. Have you ever seen a sea of tailgaters for a baseball game?!? I mean, everyone was so… nice! And the park experience was so… pleasant… and the atmosphere was so… positive!
Prior to this excursion, my understanding of the Brewers organization could be summed up in three sentences: Beat you in ’82. Bud Selig was a better owner than a commish. And Prince Fielder is HONGRY.
But really, after taking in the Miller Park experience I have to update my mental Rolodex. It’s not every day you visit a rival ballpark and are welcomed with a smile and a handshake. And as often as I’ve donned my ’06 WS patched Yadier Molina jersey into enemy territory, only at Miller Park was I stopped and commended on my team’s run of that year. And did I mention the cheese curds!?
Oh what heaven!!!
Don’t worry, dear readers, I ain’t gettin’ soft. I’ll box a Brewer if I gotta; but in a world where negativity rules the infoway, I find it refreshing to give credit to those who are pretty cool folks.
That being said, I hope the Brewers lose every one of their games from here until the end of the season.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.