Baseball, Apple Pie & Lobster
While still behind the modern US American game in terms of global appeal, Japanese baseball does have a special place in the universe of our national pastime. Indeed it has evolved much beyond the infant and fundamentally challenged Chinese game and the linguistically worldly fella in me likes to think that even Japanese basebrawls tend to be a bit more aggressive than their Korean counterparts’ elusive yet intriguing pitcher’s mound chicken dance routine. Still, there is more to it than that.
During my first year in China, I had a Japanese roommate named Hayashi Nobuhide. Nobby — as we white devils called him because, well, it was easier to pronounce — was a rabid baseball fan. In fact, our friendship, which was predestined to be rocky due to 60 years of bad history, was solidified by our matched passion for the game.
Some of my fondest memories revolve around us getting up at 5am to watch the 1999 World Series during which he vehemently professed his equally tired hatred of the New York Yankees — for they were, to Nobby and his Japanese brethren, holistically representative of “all that’s bad with America” (his words, not mine, though most probably true, especially when considering the likes of Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch and Tony Tarasco).
And that year, Nobby cheered on the Atlanta Braves just like any other rabid Japanese nationalist: while wearing a Seattle Mariners cap.
Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro!
“But what about Hideki Irabu?” I asked.
“**** that traitor! Go Ichiro!” he replied.
“But Ichiro’s not playing.”
“He should be! ICHIRO!!!”
To hear Nobby tell it, Ichiro Suzuki was more popular, more influential, more inspiring than Jesus Christ himself (not to mention having a better stylist). Everything about Ichiro, from his odd pregame warmups to his ritualized on-deck routine to his classic power pose at the plate was unequivocally all-things Japanese: systematic, graceful and proud.
Consider the fact that this undying allegiance came during the height of the steroid era, and I gotta admit, Nobby had a damn good point:
Sensationalized as the above may be, the truth remains: Ichiro is powerful.
And now, that power has multiplied. The Japanese gifts continue to grace diamonds all across US America. From Ichiro Suzuki to Takashi Saito to
Kaz Matsui Kosuke Fukudome Hiroki Kuroda, the game has plenty of room for Japanese imports.
If we’re lucky, maybe someday we can even borrow the Hiroshima Toyo mascot; ‘cuz nothin’ says powerhouse baseball like a wet, smelly Carp.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Frankly, this ain’t no Jesus Hates the Cubs epic production, but as far as representing the Cubs’ hopes and dreams and far-fetched aspirations for the 2009 season, I concur that this is a pretty accurate video representation:
That guy probably thought “this is our year” too.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m mean, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Put your clothes back on. Cap off that fifth of Jack. Call yourself a cab.
The San Francisco Giants’ perpetual playoff philandering is as done as Sarah Palin’s political career.
It is sunk.
And just in case you need proof, here it is, written all over Nate Schierholtz’s face:
Oh sure, we can sit around and discuss how their dominating pitching staff could possibly get them over the Rockies hump and into the wild card spot if only the offense could score runs. We could ruminate on the occasional power surges put forth by Pablo Sandoval and Bengie Molina. Indeed, we could waste a lot of time talking about the Giants in general.
But the point is this: Good pitching may beat good hitting but if ya don’t score any runs you can’t win a damn thing.
And that’s why the Giants should be thinking about what kind of offense they are going to bring in during the offseason for 2010 and let the 2009 playoff dreams slip back down to reality.
Like most parties, it sure was fun while it lasted; but in the end you wake up and find the girl next to you isn’t quite the supermodel you thought she was — that those aren’t freckles on her face, those are… er… sores that you couldn’t see during your drunken stupor of endemic idiocy the night before.
Or, you just get all excited about your big party and end up in the burn unit like this guy:
It happens. Parties end. Occasionally your hair will catch on fire.
Deal with it.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Schierholtz Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Your mind is comprised of two
parts dung and one part wretch!
How dare you, sir, intercept
mail not intended for your ham-glazed grub-grubbing barnacle-encrusted
excuses for hands, and then proceed to not only consume said parcel,
but also reveal yourself as a virtuoso practitioner of the common club-footed
idiot’s box traced word waltz!
To start: The fruit your
colon passed with patriotic pleasantry is not called the ‘bananella.’
I haven’t the faintest idea what a ‘bananella’ is. I have
consulted several of the most amenable meta-linguisticists and word-alchemists
in my stable of resources, and, without fail, all have concluded that
the word ‘bananella’ does not exist. Therefore, it is either
an attempted nonsensical addition to the contemporary word canon (which
is already quite full, I can assure you), or it is just your latest
exercise in rump-rousting dipsh*ttery. My vote is for the latter.
QUIGLEY! THE FRUIT IN
QUESTION IS CALLED A ‘BANANALLA’ NOT A ‘BANANELLA’! PLEASE
SHOW SOME RESPECT TO TAFT AND HIS GLORIOUS ACQUISITION, THE PHILIPPINES!!!
THAT LAND WILL BE A FEATHER IN YANKEE DOODLE’S CAMP AD INFINITUM!!!
And please refrain from your
mail malarkey! That flagon (as a bunching of bananallas is known)
was not intended for you, but rather for your delightful wife, Hermilina.
Haven’t you hoodwinked her enough in this lifetime, you stagnant pond
of a man? You’ve already relieved her of her freedom to live,
love and ride her beloved bare-backs… why must you also stand between
her and fruit? Let the lass have some God-forsaken fruit, man!
But enough of all things personal!
Your ignorance took a break
from his paternity leave and certainly made a valid statement of fact — namely, that Cobb and his Bengalese brethren have taken a commanding
hold of league American, and they are most certainly out-performing
the goodfellow Lajoie and his Ohioans. For the record, we are in partial agreement: The Canuck
Lajoie is not of this country, and despite his good nature,
nevertheless should be kept at arm’s length. The land of Canada is
vast and mysterious, and my podiatric pedestals would rather take their
tickels from a Kaiser or Pharaoh, from this Moon’s day right up until
the Sun’s next! Many a seemingly kind and girthy red, northern face
has smiled at me claiming neighborly well-wishes, when the whole time I
was looking at the chompers of a scurvy-eyed gift horse!
That said, while the Detroiters
seem to be a lock to waggle the pennant American (hopefully they will
be able to hoist it a few times before Cobb uses it to rid his posterior
of residual defecate), they will nonetheless fall hard in the
World Series, at the hands of Chicago’s dear Orphans, the mighty child
bears, the blessed Cubs themselves.
To gaze upon America’s team
is to gaze upon a manifest destiny so bright in outlook, even blind
men have been seen turning away from the glare! The reigning World
Champions, while locked in a heated race with the swashbucklers of Penn’s
Woods’ Pitt-City, boast a far-superior club, and once they get their
ducks in order… head for the hills, dear opponent! Between
Mordecai Brown’s three fingered witchery, and Ed Ruelbach’s quiet
dominance, this club is poised to win championship after championship
for years to come. Cobb certainly will wish he was returned to
the stalk after facing one of the aforementioned mound dwellers —
same as last October.
The Chicago Cubs will win it
all once again!
What say you, Dingbat?
PS. How insightful was Frank
Chance’s sale of the quack Doc Marshall to the Superbas of Manhattan’s
armpit? Leave it up to Chance, say I! Leave it up to Chance!
PPS. Steal any more fruit bound
for the unappreciated beauty you call wife, and I will cut you nice
- – –
‘Alabaster’ Eastman Thune
Former editor of the “Follies and Whatnots” section of the Chicago Inter-Ocean.
“Alabaster” is known for coining the popular quip: “An Irishman and
his whiskey are like the Father Sky and his Sun – you are guaranteed
that the latter will show up in the former each day of God’s blessed
For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*
Upstart to Cobb Little More Than A Baltimore Chopper
Team Named After Hubristic Canuck
Passerby: “Lajoie’s Kin Helped the Limeys Torch the Library of Congress!”
- – -
LAJOIE! You seek a
moral standard bearer, and you choose LAJOIE!?
Across the gentle
waves of the republic, there are two creeds that rankle the populous more than
any other, two regimes that chafe the ankles of freedom like Monte- Cristo’s
manacles. They are, of course, none
other than the French Empire (Marquis de Lafayette excepted!) and the British Commonwealth (royalist buggery!). The French Canadian Lajoie manages to
illegally jumped leagues in 1901, and then sold by Connie Mack to the Cleveland
Nine, proceeds to win a newsmans raffle and the club winds up nomened with his
prenom! This crafty Francophile’s
arrogance is matched only by the girth of the president of the republic. His league-jumping garnered this
double-crosser unable to cross the Pennsylvania state lines, and veritably forfeiting the
‘Naps’ games to the A’s!
“But hark,” you say,
tremulously caterwauling, “is he not a batsman beyond compare? Did he not compile a batters-average that
same year of .427?! And much of that
against the finest orb-slingers of the day, besting even the mighty Three
Finger Mordecai Brown!”
Still your knocking
knees! His average this year? Scarcely kissing .325, and his Cleveland Naps
langour at the bottom of the standings, skulking about the sous-sol like the
ghost of Washington Irving.
I brush your charges
aside as a horsefly from a mule’s fetlock. Ty Cobb’s Tigers pistol-whipped
Connie Mack’s White Elephants in four games at the close of August, and now the
American League is chasing their tail.
The pennant may not yet be stabled, but those boys firmly grip the
September sees those
mighty Michigan maulers sitting prettily atop the table,
with Cobb clubbing .380. And seek you
long the long ball!? Cobb leads the
league, walloping more “all-baggers’ than anyone else in the game. He may hit ten of them! What be that French Canadian’s count to
But the Naps have
produced one a great wonderment this year – the first unassisted triple play,
by Neal Ball, on July 19. Never seen
before, Ball’s Triumph saw him gather in a liner, step on the second bag, and
apply a tag to the fleet-footed fool from first. This feat of derring-do will most assuredly
never be replicated, even in a hundred years’ time.
On a sidenote, I wish to thank you, Mr. Thune, for the olive-branch
gifting of the crate of yellow bananellas.
As you say, they are a delightful taste and texture, evoking an erotic
south seas sustenance. Perhaps in this
move to purchase the Filipinos our ebullient executive has given an
- – –
Silas ‘Red’ Quigley
Editorial correspondent for the Boston Wax-Intelligencer. Editor/Publisher of various workers rights
publications, sporting weeklies, and Ladies Garment Journals. As a youth he was attache to Henry Chadwick (claims to be the
uncredited co-creator of the box score).
For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*
Much has been made in the last few days about the death of civility in America. Serena’s tirade at the US Open only slightly overshadowed Representative Joe Wilson’s yell during President Obama’s health care speech. And of course, both of those events ended up being being blown away by Kanye West’s impromptu hijacking of the VMAs.
But I don’t think all of this is bad.
It’s good to see Serena fired up. God knows none of the other Americans in the main draw at the US Open came close to her fire with the possible exception of a seventeen year old. And when you’re used to stars making the same inane comments, it’s nice to see that there’s still room for the insane. As for Wilson, although it might have been nice for him to express his views in a slightly more constructive way and perhaps in a more appropriate forum, he expressed how strongly Americans feel about the issue of health care.
I’d love to see the Tigers this fired up about their season. They may be in the driver’s seat in the AL Central but they sure don’t look like they’re in control. The only reason they’re in first is because the other teams in the division are giving it away.
However, I’m hoping the Tigers can take heart in the exploits of the University of Michigan football team. I don’t think anyone expected much but they went out this past weekend and won one of the two games that count this season. Civility may be dead but so are the hopes and dreams of thousands of Fighting Irish fans and that’s good enough for me.
Dear readers, there is no denying it. The 2009 Washington Nationals are a complete embodiment of the new, hip and devastatingly adroit four-letter word dominating the interwebs. And that word is FAIL.
The Natinals‘ pitching is atrocious. Their defense is vomit inducing. Their front office is turbulent.
And, worst of all, Teddy Roosevelt still can’t win a race.
But this is U.S. America, my friends. And in U.S. America, we U.S. Americans can do anything we put our minds to… well, anything except provide universal health care, halt military action in Iraq and establish a sound domestic economy, of course.
Yet I have faith in the future of this franchise. They can hit. The Zimmerman/Dunn centerpiece in D.C. provides a solid foundation. Indeed, there is hope.
Because if someone can take this:
And make this:
…then miracles are possible!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
A few weeks ago Milton Bradley very publicly decried the racist
comments hurled at him from the bleachers at Wrigley. But since he
wouldn’t give specifics the press has been having a field day, claiming
he’s making it all up. It blows my mind how blind they are. I’m no
fan of Milton’s, but you can’t walk through Wrigleyville without seeing
someone in a “Pujols Mows My Lawn” shirt, or those famous “Horry Kow!”
Fukudome shirts. I think in this case he’s absolutely right, and the
press would rather continue to crap all over the guy than grudgingly
admit that he has a point.
As much as soccer is the world’s game, baseball is still America’s game. And as games and culture tend to do, it reflects much about a nation’s character. If you watch soccer you know that the Germans play a very methodical game much like the methodical German people. Same goes for the “beautiful game” played by the Brazilians.
But what does this recent statement from Milton Bradley say about the state of our nation? Well, if you paid attention at all during the Presidential race last year, you know that Ted and Milton definitely have a point.
The state of race relations in this country has not come all that far since the times of the king of the racists, Ty Cobb, or Jackie Robinson’s first foray across the color lines. We may pretty it up these days with Rainbow coalitions and politically correct buzz-words but the fact of the matter is, there has never been an actual, frank discussion about race in this country despite what we’d like to lead ourselves to believe. As much as it pains me to say it, Cubs’ fans are not the problem. They’re nothing more than a symptom of the problem.
It’s not exactly the same thing but this reminds me of being in Wrigleyville a couple years ago late at night. I was walking with a few guys and there had definitely been some drinking going on. As we walked to find a cab, some thin young guy came hurrying down the street toward us and one of the guys in the group jumped at him and then started harassing him, calling him “f@g” this and “f@g” that. This poor guy was scared sh!tless and the rest of us were too stunned to even say anything. Finally someone pulled the guy from our group away and he looked around at us like it was the funniest thing ever. As the guy who had been getting harassed walked away as quickly as possible, the rest of us just stared at this d0uchebag standing there obliviously with a huge grin on his face, all of us still shocked at what had happened.
And again, it’s symptomatic. Racism and homophobia come from the same place and the fact that neither one has ever been dealt with directly in this country means that it will continue to go on. Whether or not someone said what Milton says he heard is not the point. The fact that we really shouldn’t be surprised that it happened is.
Typically, most co-authored hit blogs contain some sort of level-headed combination of brains and brawn: the sharp, critical mental-rat in fine tune with a hard-hitting thunder-striker. Yet when it comes to the curious case of RSBS, success can be attributed to the imperious, overwhelming, one-sided wit of just one man:
Sorry, Mr. Krause. I mean, as an easy target you do make good fodder and all, but let’s face it, when it comes to verbal violence, you’re still getting raked. Just like that little league game when I was at the plate and you were coaching first base:
Whether you’re delivering a weak blow by insinuating that Albert Pujols has the ability to make me gay (he does) or stealing the St. Louis spotlight with your revisionist history that the Tigers beat themselves in the 2006 World Series, it is quite obvious that some things will never change.
And that includes me always coming out on top.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m smug, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Sometimes as I sit here pondering the Tigers’ three game sweep at the hands of the lowly Royals I wonder why, even here in the land of the internet, it has to be like this with the venom and the animosity. I ask myself, is it wrong to detest a team and yet admire a player on that same team? And then I realize that I can’t get angry with my friend. No, I know where it all comes from: Demon Rum.
But I hold none of this against my collaborator and conspirator, Mr. Lung. He finds himself flush in the prime of his life with everything going for him: the Cardinals are winning, he has a beautiful woman on his arm and Chicago is always sunny and 85. And even if only one out of those three is true, it’s still nothing to scoff at. In fact, I’m pretty sure neither one of us even hit .333 in Little League.
No, it turns out that the loose lips that my colleague flaps about so wantonly are a symptom of something much more disturbing than even distilled spirits. In reality, Jeff is slowly losing ground to the dreaded scourge of senility.
It’s not all bad. Sometimes it’s quite hilarious. I just hope that the next time this dementia slips my good friend’s tenuous grasp on reality it will come out in a more constructive manner. Perhaps a bawdy limerick or an ode to Mr. Pujols. We can always hope afterall.