During one of my recent whimsical journeys through the interwebosphere, I happened upon this image (right) and the earthquake of emotion rocking my once unstoppable disgust for all things Cubbie blue is definitely causing some unique problems for me now, both mental and physical.
Unfortunately, there is little you nor I can do.
I think we just have to wait this one out.
So please, keep me in your thoughts.
And… may they be positive, complete with the interlocking “STL”.
Don’t hate me.
‘Cuz I’m right… I think.
(Image courtesy of this Photobucket page)
This has been a week of upheaval in both the physical and existential sense of the word. We continue to be bombarded by images of Haiti and even today a new quake brought new fear. And in the US, both minor and major tremors shook us as McGwire admitted what we had always suspected and the Democrats lost what was supposed to be a sure thing.
In times of upheaval people search for solidity, for something they can cling to as their world is dashed to pieces. For Haitians this is an ongoing search as even their government and their public services have fallen apart. And for baseball fans, even though we knew what McGwire was up to, we go back to the basics and try to rediscover again why we love this game.
For the Democrats, they are in much the same spot as the Haitians. I remember standing on the lawn between the capitol and the Washington Monument a year ago as President Obama gave his historic inauguration speech. But a year later his star power has faded to the point that a virtual unknown was able to take the seat held by Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion, for nearly the past five decades.
The real question before all of us is what happens next? Is it possible for Haitians to go back to living a normal existence when even the ground betrays them? Can we trust any of our baseball heroes anymore or do we have to assume that they are all lying? And does the promise of a universal health care system fade away for another 20 years until we once again realize how broken and rigged the current system is?
Upheaval forces us to answer difficult questions. And whether major or minor, these answers take time. Me, I’m a realist and always have been. I expect people to take the easy route. In another two weeks, Haiti will disappear from the news and we won’t hear about it again until the next time a disaster strikes. Despite the nearly universally accepted realization that health care is broken, our leaders will shy away from making us taste the bitter medicine and unfortunate people (who, luckily for the politicians, don’t tend to vote) will continue to fall through the cracks. And Mark McGwire, a self-confessed liar and cheater, will continue to make an exorbitant salary as a hitting coach while Pete Rose is banned from baseball. That, my friends, is reality.
In a further sign that international diplomacy involves about as much maturity as A-Rod running the bases, the upcoming Islamic Games were canceled in a row over the correct name of the Persian….I mean the Arabian……I mean the Gulf. Sure, they may say that it was about health concerns, mainly Swine Flu, but make no mistake. This was all about the name of that infamous body of water between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.
You want context? Think about what would happen if the delightful residents of Chicago decided to start referring to Lake Michigan as Lake Illinois. Yeah, that just wouldn’t fly. Besides, everyone knows that Illinois is just a third-rate state that only pretends to be American. It only makes sense that the lake is named after the the obviously superior State of Michigan. In fact, that’s the reason why Lake Superior is so aptly named; it’s in the superior state of Michigan.
Now, if you think the preceding paragraph presents a clear and coherent viewpoint, congratulations! You just might have what it takes to be a diplomat! However, if you think it sounds absolutely ridiculous then I’ll present you with one more possible solution. We send Jose Offerman into the next meeting of the Islamic Games’ governing council and let him settle things the way that only he can.
Sometimes it’s nice to go through life knowing certain constants remain… constant. You know, like the sun will always rise in the east; Republicans and Democrats will always hate each other; Jose Offerman, as a player, coach, manager, whatever, will do everything possible so that he can continue to assault people on the baseball diamond.
Oh sure, this time the weapon has changed — preferring a clenched fist over a maple bat. And the victim is one of the men in blue instead of the opposing pitcher. But the one reassuring constant in this matter is that no one in professional baseball seems to care that Jose Offerman is a complete psychopath.
If I were running a team in the Dominican Republic or the Independent Leagues or even the Majors, and Jose Offerman was involved with my club somehow, I would make sure that he always remained secure in one of those Hannibal Lecter type restraining device get ups.
I would let him take his swings or go out to the mound to talk to his pitcher or argue with an umpire if a play called for it; but I would definitely make sure the creep was strapped down to a board so tight that his every word would just barely squeak out.
Pedophiles are strongly advised to stay away from playgrounds.
Washed up, asinine, troglodyte excuses for baseball players who can’t resist attempted murder during a game should be kept just as far away.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz you know I’m right.
Sometimes ideas are so incongruous that they appear laughable. The response to my recent and obviously hyperbolic suggestion that Albert Pujols would look good in a Tigers’ uniform is a perfect example.
However, sometimes seemingly incompatible ideas come together in almost awe-inspiring collisions. For instance, why would a famous Scotsman ever shill for a low to medium range American whiskey? The idea is laughable, right? I mean, he’s Scottish. They have Scotch. Right?
Prepare to have your mind blown:
For today is January 15! And that means today is Mr. Allen Krause’s 31st birthday!
And since it is my jaded pal’s special day, I thought it best not to rip on how he looks like like a young (albeit more intelligent) Joe Maddon; so instead I am going to go against the RSBS norm and actually do something nice for him!
That’s right, folks. Y’all know that Al is a huge (sometimes annoying) Detroit Tigers fan… so today, to help Mr. Krause celebrate his very own life, I would like to present three awesome Detroit Tigers facts that I researched all by myself (with the help of the RSBS interns).
Happy Birthday, Al old buddy!
Awesome Tigers Fact #1:
Since the birth of Allen Krause, the Detroit Tigers have lost 2,546 games! And that fancy schmancy fact includes four whole seasons with 103 or more losses, like that stellar 2003 season when the Tiggers lost a mind-blowing 119 games!
Awesome Tigers Fact #2:
Despite being Mr. Krause’s boyhood hero while boasting impressive numbers over 20 Major League seasons, good old Alan Trammell is NOT in the Hall of Fame! For real! I’m serious!
Awesome Tigers Fact #3:
This fella made $10 million in 2009 while putting up these gaudy numbers: 1 W, 7.49 ERA, 7.5 BB/9
I have known Mr. Krause for over twelve and a half years now and I can honestly say — without even a smidgen of doubt — that one couldn’t ask for a better friend than Allen.
And I mean the hell out of that.
Happy Birthday, brother!
In important news that has come out this week not involving Mark McGwire (Really? Steroids? Huh, I never would have guessed), apparently Ryan Howard may be the most healthy player in baseball. Don’t believe me? Well, how about the BBC?
There’s only one major downside (as opposed to backside) to this. Now, instead of picturing this like the article asks you to do:
“I didn’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno. I wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno COMBINED! ON ‘ROIDS! ARRRRRGH!”
“My talent comes from the ‘man upstairs’ and lemme tell ya, the ‘man upstairs’ is F***ING JUICED! ARRRRRGH!“
“Yeah, I take Viagra, but just to stay healthy. It doesn’t help me bang hot chicks for hours and hours and hours at a time! ARRRRRGH!”
My duplicitous and oft abrasive colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has been busy conjuring up all sorts of facetious baseball scenarios, one of which embraces the Selig-spawned, Selig-spun “world” World Series, proposing to pit the Major League Baseball champion against the… the… Japanese baseball… league champion? What?
First of all, this is a Bud Selig ploy – a major league trick to make you think he’s actually working towards the betterment of the game. Preposterous! The World Series is called the friggin’ World Series because it boasts the two best baseball teams in the WORLD. No Japanese champion can hang with the MLB champion. If they could, then all those Japanese players would already be playing in the MAJOR LEAGUES!
Ah, such treachery. It saddens me to see Mr. Krause, someone so smart and so spry, take such a gigantic dip into the crazy-pool. But wait. Yes… it gets worse…
Some More Crap:
…Because somehow Mr. Krause got it in his head that once Albert Pujols’ contract is up with the Cardinals in 2011, that the perennial MVP candidate will be out to find a new, more financially sexy organization to call his home. Mr. Krause even mentioned the possibility of seeing A.P. wearing an old English “D” across his chest!!!
Total f***ing horse****.
Sorry. Had to go there. Ahem…
Like the Tigers always have Ty Cobb, so too will the Cardinals always have Albert Pujols.
Don’t worry, Al… at least you will always have the image of Alan Trammell in a Tigers uni, forever.
(McGwire image courtesy of Coffee with Adam)
When the NHL switched it’s All-Star game format in the late 90’s from the typical conference vs. conference match-up to a North America vs. The World battle royale, it seemed to herald the dawn of a new, global style of sport. Of course there are the Olympics and the World Cup but if sports like hockey were going to take on an internationalist bent, it was only a matter of time before the whole world came on-board.
Five years later the game reverted back to it’s traditional format and globalism had lost a bit of its luster but the overall move towards a more universal sporting life continued to pick up steam.
Just take a look around the major American sports. The NBA is still dominated by Americans but Europeans, South Americans and even the Chinese have become stars in their own right. The NFL is probably the only league that can still claim to be nearly 100% American but that probably owes much to the fact that the rest of the world is more than happy with their own version of football.
Even the most traditionally American of sports has taken on a greater international context in the past decade with the creation of the World Baseball Classic. And MLB has no plans to stop there. Just this past week it was reported that Bud Selig has been in discussions with his Japanese counterpart for a match-up between the two countries’ respective champions. Maybe it’s only two countries at this point but there’s no doubt that baseball will follow soccer’s lead and institutes some sort of World Club Championships pitting the best club teams from around the world against each other.
It makes sense. There seems to be no end to what consumers are willing to suck up and with all the money to be made from the merchandising, not to mention the actual playing of these games, the different national leagues would be foolish not to join in. Bud Selig will do anything at this point to have his legacy be something other than the steroid era and this would definitely be one way to do that.
Lost in all this is the fact that despite its near collapse a few seasons ago, the NHL may have had it right after all. You can fight globalization and maybe you’ll win some battles. But the war has already been won and it’s here to stay. Baseball appears ready to embrace that.