January 2010

Harry Reid and Al Campanis Sittin’ In a Tree…

harry-reid.jpgNo matter what magnitude of socio-political strides are made in US America, if you wait long enough, some belligerent old white guy will eventually send us back a few decades by saying something un-politically correct.  And whether such belligerence explodes during a live interview with Ted Koppel or simmers in the pages of a newly published book that most people haven’t yet read, one thing is absolutely clear: evolution could use a little help in the humanoid self-censor department.

To me, what is most peculiar in the case of Harry Reid saying our country “was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American with no Negro dialect” is that he was quoted as saying this some time ago, presumably knowing it would eventually show up in a public forum, somewhere.  I find that just a bit less forgiving than telling a live, nationally televised audience that “blacks may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager,” which is exactly what Al Campanis said when donning his ignorance cap back in April 1987.

In both cases, someone in power — a white someone in power — said something offensive, something abrasive, something that nicked at years and years of progress; and for that, we cannot allow ourselves to just be silent.  We have to say, do, discuss something

al campanis.jpgCampanis’ remarks got him fired.  Reid’s probably won’t, though that is not to say they shouldn’t.  I’m not the racism czar, so I don’t really know, and I’m glad that I don’t have to make such decisions. 

But I can say that the time for social readjustment is always now; it’s always relevant.  Reid (and Campanis before him) said out loud what many people still believe to be true.  Far from ideal, this country (and its people) still have a lot of learning to do.  Remember, it took our species thousands and thousands of years to finally realize the earth is round, not flat.

And the only way we can come to a mutual understanding of the truth is to work together.  So yeah.  Let’s do that, shall we?

In the meantime, this racially charged hiccup does have a fulfilling footnote.  Reid’s comments came to light through the publication of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s new book entitled Game Change.  And if you go to Game Change‘s Amazon.com entry, scroll down to the critical reviews, you will find a ginormous gem of a quote from Barack Obama:


“This s*** would be really interesting if we weren’t in the middle of it.”

Agreed, Mr. President.  Absolutely agreed.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Tricks vs. Illusions

gob_magic.gifDo you hear that scratching? No, it’s not the mice building a warm nest under your floor. It’s not the dog trying to get rid of those annoying fleas. It’s not even your roommate doing only god knows what while watching the NFL playoffs.

That scratching sound is various agents and GM’s tearing apart and reassembling contracts in order to steal your favorite players away and make that new jersey you bought last season immediately irrelevant.

However, I hope that you won’t think ill of these players and curse them for being the wh0res that they are. Remember, like our friend GOB (pronounced Jobe) Bluth told us, they’re really just illusions. Even if they really do seem like tricks.

-A

Credit:
-Photo via Skull Swap

Depression

zack greinke depression.jpg
Yep.  Totally.

Don’t hate us ‘cuz we’re right.

Peace,

Jeff (and Zack)

(Greinke image courtesy of Getty Images; text by moi)

Albert in Blue

i_love_albert.jpgAs Jeff pointed out yesterday, the signing of Matt Holliday does not mean that the Cardinals have lost sight of Pujols and his impending contract year. If anything, it shows that they are clearing the air and setting up a supporting cast so they can make sure he stays put. However, I’d like to see something else happen.

See, at this moment in time the Tigers are also clearing out contracts. Granderson and Polanco are gone and despite the money they have tied up in some pretty mediocre pitching, the Tigers will have some wiggle room in 2011.

How perfect would it be if on the five year anniversary of the Cardinals beating the Tigers in the World Series, the Tigers could return the favor in pulling off the coup of the (admittedly brand new) decade by landing Pujols?

Now, I’m not saying it’s probable. I’m not even really saying it’s possible. I just think the idea of Pujols with an old English “D” on his chest is magical. And the thought of Jeff’s lurid fantasies about Albert also involving a navy blue hat with a big white “D” on it makes me smile.

Happy Friday!

-A

Albert Ain’t YOUR Girlfriend

albert-pujols-5.jpgEnough babble from the crazy train that is the interwebbed rumor mill, dear readers!

Stop.  Breathe.  Focus. 

Now, let’s look at this Matt Holliday signing for what it actually is: John Mozeliak & Co. finally growing a pair and making the St. Louis Cardinals perennial contenders for years to come.

And if you think they made this offer to Holliday without considering the task of signing Albert Pujols after 2011, then you need to be committed… or move to Wrigleyville.

Either way, Holliday is a Cardinal.  And Pujols is a Cardinal.

So no more talk about a potential move by one of the big money teams to snatch up Albert and take him away from us in his upcoming free agency.  It ain’t gonna happen.  He ain’t nobody’s girlfriend but ours.

And I mean “girlfriend” with the utmost respect.

‘Cuz sometimes really bad things happen to girlfriends:

star wars gone wrong.jpg
Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Skull Swap)

The New Jersey of the Southern Hemisphere

bat_chavez.jpgWith the new decade almost a week old, I figured it was about time for us to check in with our old pal, Hugo, in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela. Now, in the ongoing drama playing out down south, we have most recently seen El Jefe making nice with close American ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and threatening his next door neighbor, Colombia.

However, with the long Christmas break just finishing up and the people full of holiday cheer, this would be the time to announce some good news and keep the warm fuzzies going, right?

Right?

Wrong. Instead the government decided it needed to ration electricity and one of the best places to start was with shopping malls. Now, much like New Jersey, shopping malls in Venezuela are the epicenter of the social scene. So, forcing the malls to close at nine o’clock is akin to telling New Jersey-ites that they can still go out to bars, they just can’t do any more Jager-bombs. Exactly, full scale revolt would ensue.

Luckily, the government has now eased the restrictions slightly but is that any way to start a new decade? And when you also stop and realize that Venezuela is a major oil-producer, you really wonder what’s going on. How is it possible that with all that oil they can’t find a way to keep the electricity flowing?

For the time being, things are fine. And I feel no need to get personally involved. But the second that Chavez tries to pull Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez back from the Tigers, well, then the blue state half of this duo might be forced to go reckon with that affront personally.

-A

Matt Holliday, Meet Ma$e

mase harlem world.jpgA long time ago, in a popped culture far, far away (let’s call it the late ’90s), there was a “talented” young fella by the name of Ma$e tearing up the hip-hop scene with sub-par sleight of hand wit and a mouthful of mushy homonyms.

You may remember him (probably not) for bringing us this gem:


Broken glass everywhere
if it ain’t about the money, Puff, I just don’t care
I’m that Goodfella fly guy, sometimes wiseguys

Spend time in H-A-W-A-I-I

(Mase can you please stop smoking lah lah?)

Puff why try? I’m a thug, I’ma die high

I be out in Jersey, puffin Hershey

Brothers ain’t worthy to rock my derby

Though I’m never drugged, I’m the venom in the club

And now he’s just venom in our memory banks.  But why?  Let’s take a look:

Ma$e’s main talent was convincing people that he had talent.  I believed it.  Sean Combs believed it.  The general public believed it.  In fact, there was a time when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing a Ma$e tune.  Had he the vision to keep that reality in perspective, to join powers with the then still venerable Puff Daddy, we might be talking about Ma$e as a musical superpower right now!

But we’re not.

Because Ma$e went to Ma$e’s head and at his highest of high points, Ma$e left the one label that could make him an internationally hyped megastar.  No one would take him on.  He floundered.  Then he disappeared all together.  He decided to do something different…

…by becoming a preacher?

Yep.  At least, that’s the story we got.

A few years (and lots of bounced checks) later, Ma$e came crying back to the rap game… hands open, knees scarred, willing to accept any deal he could get… anything… he was signed by SRC Records.

But the problem with SRC Records was this: they couldn’t release his music because Ma$e was still contractually obligated to — yep, you guessed it — Sean “Puff Daddy/P-Diddy” Combs.

The moral of the story? 

Ma$e is an idiot.

Matt Holliday, you’re not far behind. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**UPDATE**

Since writing this, Matt Holliday has agreed to a 7 year deal with
the Cardinals for $120 million. That’s mo’ money, mo’ problems… but
probably worth it. Good for you, Matt!

Are You of Interest?

clemens_testify.jpgIs it good or bad at this point to be a citizen of or coming from a “country of interest?” If you look at the upside, you get to enjoy the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down. On the downside, well, you get the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down.

If you tend to think that this smacks of profiling, congratulations, you are now able to recognize the obvious! Of course this is profiling. There’s a reason why fourteen countries are on the list and there’s a reason why it’s a specific 14 countries. It’s the same reason why any PED testing scheme should focus on people who suddenly change shape (I’m looking at you, Giambi), people who are performing at very high levels after sickness or late in their career (this means you, Armstrong and Clemens) or people who’s production suddenly and inexplicably increases (yeah, Sosa, you’re on the hook for this one). If you’re looking for fire, it’s not a bad idea to try checking out the smoke.

Now, I’m not saying that I agree with the idea of profiling. Basing any kind of scrutiny or regime on just someone’s ethnicity or some other factor is not going to stop anything in the long-run. Timothy McVeigh wouldn’t have been caught by this nor would the Unabomber. There’s no real substitute for random testing, good intelligence and rigorous processes. Short-term, though? Something has to be done.

The real issue is that when problems are identified, whether it be security lapses or inadequacies in testing, knee-jerk responses tend to be the flavor of the day. The reality is that we need to find the balance between being authoritarian and being lackadaisical. Would a pat down have necessarily stopped the alleged Northwest flight bomber? Who knows but I’m guessing probably not. Would a fully implemented randomized testing program have kept Barry Bonds from the home run record? It’s hard to say. But it’s a place to start.

-A

Three Reasons Why Being Derek Jeter Ain’t Bad

Reason One:

minka kelly cheerleader.jpg

Reason Two:

minka kelly hot.jpg

Reason Three:

minka kelly backside.jpg

And don’t even get me started on all the kinky Tiger stuff.  If a man as famous and powerful as Tiger Woods wants me to sleep with his girlfriend, you bet I’m gonna do it.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(All images tastelessly and mercilessly ripped from the interwebs)

The Hangover

I know it’s only the second day of a new year and I know I shouldn’t feel burned out. But, well, sometimes you just can’t control these things. And let’s face it, it’s still bowl season so shouldn’t I really be watching football right now? All excuses aside, though, the burden of a blogger is a heavy burden indeed. That’s why I’m going to let Zach Galifianakis explain instead:

All kidding aside, thanks for sticking with us through 2009 and we hope you keep coming back in 2010. Happy Saturday!

-A

Credit:
-Video via Skull Swap

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