February 2008

A fan for all seasons

Well, Mr. Lung, it looks as though we have found another area in which we agree. However, I want to expand a little on your post and apply your thoughts on the Cub menace to a wider baseball underclass.

See, in the two plus years I’ve lived in New York, I have had the opportunity to see exactly one Yankees game. Now, this is not because I hate the Yankees (although I do) and it’s not because I don’t want to go (because I do). Basically, there’s a problem of supply and demand when it comes to the Evil Empire and that makes it impossible for a fan of the game to see that game played in the house that Ruth built. Instead, before the season even begins, the whole raft of tickets is bought out by corporate douchebags and trust fund teat ******* socialites.

I’m sure you see this all the time in Chicago. If you’re actually able to score a ticket on the North Side, the stadium is inevitably filled with suit-wearing, cell phone chatting i-bankers and this:

It’s the same in the Bronx and I dare say this same phenomenon is probably even showing up in places like your beloved St. Louis. The bandwagoneer has taken over and driven out the people who actually care.

Now, I should make an important point here. Even though I detest the Yankees, I do not detest all of their fans. People who appreciate the game but just happen to have the geographical misfortune of being born in the New York Metropolitan area or the North Side of Chicago should not have that held against them. However, when this true fan bring along his pink hat wearing girlfriend and she gets sloppy drunk by the third inning and starts hitting on the suit wearing cell phone talker, then we have a problem. Feel free to compare the functionality of your Blackberries. Just go over to the Cubbie Bear and do it where I don’t have to listen.


P.S. A little something to warm your heart:

Good News!

All this American League Tiger, Yankees, Red Sox talk has left many of you feeling under served.  I feel your pain.  So let me digress on to something that is more factual than speculative: the absolute embarrassment of a ballclub known as the Cubs. 

Being a Cardinal fan in Chicago is not easy.  Luckily, I live on the Southside, surrounded by fellow, like-minded Champions who know what it feels like to win a World Series this decade.  Our hearts and souls are aligned with victory and yes, we share a common enemy:


Of course, it would be too easy for me to start ripping the Cubs before the season even starts.  Instead, I’d like to share some good news with all of you Cub fans out there.  So let me start with the very best news: Ryan Dempster guaranteed you a World Series championship this year!  He followed that by moving faster than a locomotive, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and sticking his foot in his gargantuan mouth.  I think responsible athletes usually tend to keep their mouths shut when it comes to making colossal statements of absolute assurance.  Keyword: responsible.

Oh, but wait, there’s definitely more good news in Cubs camp: Aramis Ramirez really enjoys cockfighting!  Yeah, he really does.  In fact, he said he’s passionate about it.  He loves it.  He’s been active in this archaic act of animal cruelty for a long time in his native Domincan Republic.  Oh, but don’t worry, Cub fans, he’s not going to be in any trouble.  No, I mean, he’s no Michael Vick or anything like that.  You see, it’s okay because it’s legal to stage cockfights in the Domincan…and so is kidnapping, corruption and blackmail.  It’s all good.  Nothing to be worried about.  Nothing at all.


But that’s not all, Cub fans!  No, there’s much more to be excited about!  Mark Prior is gone!  That means you only have one excuse for why you don’t win a championship this year and his name is Kerry Wood.  For years, all I’ve heard about is Prior & Wood, Prior & Wood, if only Prior & Wood were healthy we’d win it all blah blah blah.  Well, now the only one you have to get healthy is Wood and so far so good!  Of course, the season hasn’t started yet, and we all know how well he can get through a whole 162 game season, even out of the bullpen, so yeah, good luck with that.  (for more info on how well Prior will do now that he’s out of Wrigleyville, check out Bold & Bolder, #1.)

And I’m not done delivering the good news, Cub fans.  Yes, there’s more and you’ll be super happy about this: You can still drink at Wrigley Field!  Yes!  Everyone knows how well behaved Cub fans are while taking in an afternoon with their favorite drink and favorite team, especially those upright citizens in the bleacher seats.  So despite a major movement to ban alcohol at the stadium, fear not, for the good times will continue.  For an exclusive look at mentioned good times watch this Youtube video to see just how mild mannered the Wrigley faithful can be.  Awesome!

So, as you see, Cub fans, things are looking up on the Northside.  Of course, I could throw in some cheap shots to bring you down but I would never even think of doing that.  For example, I wouldn’t remind everyone that there is that goat curse thing that’s been dawdling on since the 40s.  No.  And I couldn’t even think about mentioning that bland sense of apathy that lingers over the hot, stale Wrigley crowd on summer afternoons where there just happens to be a ballgame going on that, believe it or not, often interferes with the whole drinking vibe.  And I guess I wouldn’t even dare bring up the fact that this will be the 100th consecutive year without winning a championship.  And, no, you don’t have to worry about me reminding you about all the great player moves your team is famous for, like trading Brock for Broglio or letting Greg Maddux go or Lee Smith or Dennis Eckersely or any number of the myriad talents that became big stars elsewhere.  No, I won’t bring up any of that but I will say that I am quite sure Jacque Jones will be considered one of those stars now that no one will be using his head for target practice in right field.   

It’s true, Cub fans.  It’s going to be a great year.  Can you feel the excitement?  You have a lot to look forward to, including seeing me standing tall and proud in your stadium with the Birds on the Bat this summer.  Don’t worry, I’ll have two beers in my hands too.  It’s gonna be awesome. 

And the most awesome part of the whole season will be hearing the quiver of fear in Ron Santo’s voice as he tries to pronounce Fukudome without seriously offending the entire Chicagoland area.

I can’t wait for that.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



A Rebuttal In Three Parts

Mr. Krause, you have some serious issues that need to be addressed here.  First I would just like to point out the flagrant absurdity of your most recent post entitled A Saucerful of Beagle; but before I do, let me announce that it is by no means any secret that I am quite fond of the beagle breed.  Anyone who knows me knows that Ms. Missy holds a very special place in my heart:

So I am not quite sure what you were going for with the Uno reference, or the Best in Show reference for that matter.  Interesting?  Perhaps, but nothing in those first two paragraphs made any sense, going from Steinbrenner to popular film to the world’s finest canine breed to admitting you didn’t know what you were really talking about, which I might add, was the most truthful statement of the entire entry.  This odd self-reflection was a blaring alarm warning the reader to disbelieve your extremely biased analysis of the AL Central.  Sure, there is no argument that it’s going to be interesting; it will be.  But please know, Al, I don’t make BOLD predictions without thinking them through and I am sure that the White Sox will cause the Tigers and Indians all kinds of fits.  This being said, it is obvious that you were on a different planet when you made your most egregious error and blasphemed the superior intelligence of a Grand Cardinal Nation by saying we’d finish the Central in last place while equal with the Royals in losses. 

This statement alone proves two things:

1.  You are of an inferior baseball acumen compared to the Master
2.  You are a Looney Tune

In fact, so brash and unconnected to reality were your statements that they reminded me of a recent comment seen here on this weblog:

…Winning is how the game is judged, like it or not. The Tigers have not
been there year after year. Even the pizza man could not spend them
into victory.

Posted by:
mlung@hotmail.com |
February 19, 2008 10:18 PM

in response to Faster Pussycat by Allen Krause, February 19

Obviously, mlung@hotmail.com knows a thing or two about baseball and he presents his case clearly.  In fact, his first two sentences are absolutely founded and directly on-point, and then… WHAM, the pizza man! arrives on the scene.   Whoa, wait a minute.  Who is this mysterious pizza man?  When did he become a part of the Tigers organization and how did he try to spend them into victory?  Did he promise a win in 30 minutes or less?  Was he using his tips to pay his players?  If so, then no wonder the Tigers managed to lose over 100 games twice in the last 6 years.   

**If anyone knows who the pizza man is, the pizza man that took over the errant Detroit Tigers of the 90’s and early 2000’s, please let us know by posting a comment with a clear, detailed explanation.  This monstrous pizza man who ruined the formative years of Allen’s life by running an historic ball-club into the ground with overspending must pay for his sins.


So, Al, excuse me, Mr. Krause, until you A) find out who this abstruse pizza man who has been causing you so much misery during your life is and B) see that mighty World Championship flag wafting in the winds of your home ballpark, you really have no business making such erratic statements.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



A Saucerful of Beagle

I’m the kind of guy who can give credit where credit is due and I’m gonna start off by giving some credit to my friend, Mr. Lung. Your predictions, most of them at least, were indeed bold and I especially appreciate the Bonds prognostication. What can I say, once a Steinbrenner, always a Steinbrenner. And, if I can add in one more cliché, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Also, a dirty bird sh*ts in the nest. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything else but it reminds me of Best in Show


and that then makes me think of Uno, the cutest, most adorable little beagle in the world. Uh, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the Steinbrenners. Yes, if anyone can foil Cashman’s carefully laid out plan, it’s the new face of Steinbrenner Inc. I guess that was my point.

However, I think someone might have completely missed the boat on the AL Central. Sure,the Sox will be more competitive this season. That wouldn’t take much. The Royals will be their same old selves and the Twins are good for a couple end of the season spoilers but they won’t make a run without Santana. That leaves us with Cleveland and Detroit and your "bold prediction" that the Tigers will not make the playoffs.

Now, I can understand why you have playoff envy since the Cardinals will be lucky to finish the season 5 games under .500 with their offseason "moves" and a much tougher NL Central. But don’t be a hater. The Tigers, along with the Red Sox and the Tribe, are clearly the class of the AL. The Yankees will still be there but this is the year that their 13 year postseason streak comes to an end. Jeter isn’t the same player he was earlier in his career, Posada is not going to have another career year and A-Rod will continue to be to clutch what Hillary Clinton is to well-run campaigns. The word you’re looking for right now is "anathema."

So, let me make one bold prediction of my own. The proud state of Missouri will host not just one but two teams who not only set new records for divisional futility but who also manage to lead their leagues in losses. That’s right, the Cardinals and Royals will end the season with identical losing records and in a tie for last place in baseball. You heard it here first.

But, other than your egregious AL Central oversight and abuse of vital internet bandwidth, I think you have a nice passel of predictions there. And I fully expect to get banned. I mean, my past speaks for itself. However, I think we’d be better off to leave all this animosity behind us and get back to what really counts. Uno!


Bold & Bolder

As the baseball buzz starts to stir again with the coming of Spring sotoo does my mind twist and turn, wandering into unknown realms.  As
usual, the thoughts going through my head are poignantly provoking
while bordering on the absurd.  But they’re my thoughts, dreams,
visions.  I own them.  This is the time of year when every team has a chance, every
fan has his hope, and every imagination can entertain thoughts of
high-fiving complete strangers and pounding shots of Jameson in
celebration of a World Series Championship (for those of you in
Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, those thoughts will go away March 31st).  Of
course, wary of judgment or perhaps even ridicule, most people keep
these visions to themselves.

I am not most people.

Behold, 10 very BOLD predictions for the 2008 season:

1.  Mark Prior Wins 15 Games

Markprior_3New city, warm air, nice ocean breeze, nice pretty ladies in the
stands, nice sandy tan road jerseys.  No pressure as the Ace, no
Tribune reporters breathing down his neck, no dummies in the stands
throwing Bud Lite bottles at him, no Bartman, no curse, no Cubs. 

Things are going to work out just fine for Mark and he will shine in SoCal.

2.  Bonds Will Be Courted by Yankees Brass

Yes, by late July, the Evil Empire
will be finding themselves playing second-fiddle to a superior Red Sox
team yet again.  Having had enough, Lord Steinbrenner will sell his
soul (what’s left of it) to the Devil
and go after the tainted goods.   Bonds considers the offer but won’t
talk to the press about it except for saying "You’ve ruined my life.  My
children can’t sleep at night because of you."

3.  Allen Krause Banned from Using the Phrase "Disparate Parts" on this Weblog

See entries Tiger Tiger, Burning bright and Faster Pussycat for excessive use.

4.  Johan Santana Wins 20 Games with an ERA Under 3.00


Okay, so this isn’t that bold, but I gotta put it out there.  The guy’s
already a freak of nature and now he’ll be in a new league facing new
victims.  The guy is deceptively creepy with mad scary stuff.

5.  The Detroit Tigers Miss the Post-Season

I see the AL Central as a three team race.  Yes.  Three teams.  The
White Sox’s revamped lineup will cause fits across the division while
Paulie and Thome actually earn their paychecks this year.  I do see the
Indians and Tigers battling out for tops among the rest, but the Sox
will be right on their tails and all the in-house fighting will wear on
the Tigers who have yet to perform under pressure.  That, and you have
to automatically assume the Tiger’s pitching staff will make at least one error a game, many of which will cost them wins.  The wild card
won’t come out of the Central, which leaves the Tiggers going home early.

6.  Evan Longoria and Eva Longoria Will Be Mistaken for One Another and Scandal Erupts:


They look a lot alike, so I can see how this mistake could be made.

7.  Milwaukee Brewers Win the National League Championship Series

Yes, I said the Brewers.  With all the hype in New York and Philly and L.A., I feel like the Brewers have been slipping under the radar.  They have an immense amount of young talent and great things are bound to happen there sooner than later.  With the Cardinals weakening and the Cubs forever cursed, they will ride those young sluggers and slingers all the way to the World Series.

8.   Kerry Wood Goes on 60 Day Disabled List…Twice

Some things just never change…

9.  The Cardinals Will Be Triumphant in Cards/Cubs Series

Despite the revamped Cubs lineup, Fukudome will fail, Lee will get hurt, Ramirez will get hurt, the Louisiana Connection will go stale and all those whiny Cub fans will be wishing they still had Jacque Jones. 

and finally…

10.  This Year’s American Idol Winner Will Be Ramiele Malubay and She Will Sing the National Anthem at Fenway before a Brewers/Red Sox Showdown


Some things in life are just too beautiful…

Thank God baseball is one of them.



Faster pussycat…

I had been planning to reply to your last post in detail, Mr. Lung, but then I read an article this morning (which you actually sent me) and it seems to be a direct rebuttal of several of your points. I’ll keep myself from restating everything in the article but I do want to hit on a few issues it addresses.

The implicit dilemma for the Tigers at the beginning of this season is something you introduce but don’t expand on in your countdown of the top payrolls. It’s an obvious problem but many free-spending major league teams neglect to take into account the team aspect of throwing together a bunch of superstars or they don’t have a manager who commands enough respect to pull all the disparate parts together. However, I think that Dombrowski was smart enough to consider these issues while putting together his team and, as a result, these Tigers are well positioned to overcome this potential downfall. This isn’t the spend whatever to get whatever aesthetic of the evil empire. This is baseball General Management at its best.

First of all, many of the Tigers new young guns and aging superstars have either played together before or have some sort of regional affiliation. Cabrera and Guillen hail from the same town in Venezuela and Maggs is a fellow Bolivarian revolutionary as well. Ok, I don’t know if the Bolivarian revolutionary thing is true but they are all Venezuelan so that is something. At the same time, we have Gary Sheffield and his well-publicized comments regarding ethnicity in baseball. However, is there really anything an over-the-hill slugger wants more than a little respect? The starry-eyed look in Cabrera’s eye will be a greater asset to Sheff and his fortunes than any bonus or honor could ever be.

Beyond the general sense of team destiny that seems to pervade the Tigers’ locker room right now, though,  is something far greater: the measured sensibility and decades of accumulated baseball knowledge that is Jim Leyland. He’s not just a manager, he’s an admiral, steering the good ship Detroit through the stormy seas of the American League Central and onward to its final port of call in the World Series this October. Yeah, I’m getting a little ahead of myself but how can you not be excited about this team? Despite his dour pronouncements and leathery, 3-packs-a-day scowl, you have to think that even Leyland understands that some god has smiled on him. How else can you explain the existence of a team this good that still comes across as a down-to-earth group of guys who can’t believe their good fortune at winding up in the same dugout?

So, yes, it’s a long season and we have 162 games that have to be played. But, it’s nice to finally be able to say I’m a Tiger fan and, instead of seeing pity in peoples’ eyes, see that look replaced with  fear.


Take a picture of yourself

This is the only way Jeff gets his picture taken–by doing it himself.

Allen at Shea

Here is Allen, posing as a Mets fan. It was a one-time thing, pressured by the cast of The Sopranos who seem to be the majority of fans at Shea.

A, J, & J

Jeff, Allen and our good buddy Jordan, posing as distinguished gentlemen.

Deep Thoughts

This is what Jeff & Allen usually look like when together: Staring off at undefined points… and no talking.