Oh, I know… cover the Clark and Addison entrance with a giant picture of Lou Piniella’s distended belly.
It’s historic. It’s sentimental. It’s old timey.
Where else can you pay ten times the market price for a 20 ounce can of Old Style? Where else can you gather around a trough with a hundred other men and urinate in drunken unison? Where else can you go to hear D-list celebrities butcher a classic song by singing out of tune?
Only at Wrigley Field.
I was p!ssed when they added the Bud Light Bleachers (bleacher tickets should not be $44 a piece, people)… I was p!ssed when they added the Captain Morgan Club… and with the addition of these gaudy action portraits, I am beyond p!ssed at the team I love to hate.
People like Wrigley because it’s authentic. It’s classic. It’s historic.
And because the Cubs lose there.
But slowly, as they add an advertisement here, a sports bar there and a fully functioning urinal there, Wrigley Field is slowly becoming just like every place else…
Not Wrigley Field.
So don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.
The first week of the season is nearly over and it has already been a doozie. Just imagine what the rest of the year has in store!
However, since it’s Friday, I wanted to take a second and focus on what Friday’s used to mean to me. Yep, that’s right. TGIF on ABC!!!
To recapture that spirit, here’s a little ditty from Mr. Full House himself, Bob Saget. Listen in as he dispels a persistent little rumor that just never seemed to go away.
Thank goodness it’s Friday.
When I quit smoking, I took up the habit of chewing on toothpicks — to keep my orally stimulated addiction in check. The worst part about it? People often say: “Hey, Jeff, fiddlin’ with ‘dem toothpicks… you remind me of Dusty Baker.”
Being compared to Baker may make my skin curdle with infectious disgust, but I suppose that’s still better than blackening my lungs and dying young of emphysema.
Or is it?
Dear readers, believe me, I do respect Dusty Baker as a human being. I mean, look at him, he breathes on his own, his heart pumps without having to think about it… all very impressive indeed; but as a baseball connoisseur, there’s no way in Jesus-hates-the-Cubs-Hell I want him managing my baseball team. Often blamed for the mass destruction of young, promising arms with infinite potential (see Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Homer Bailey), Dusty Baker also lacks the one thing that makes good managers great and great managers Tony LaRussa… and that thing is: common sense.
In the 7th inning of last evening’s contest between the Cardinals and Reds, a game that at that point was still wide open, Dusty Baker brought in his nearly-virginal relief pitcher, young righty Logan Ondrusek, to face Brendan Ryan. With Albert Pujols on deck, Ondrusek quickly walked Ryan, unable to find the strike zone like Mr. Krause is unable to find a meaningful relationship with a woman (though, to his credit, he does surprisingly well with primates). Instead of yanking Ondrusek like he probably should have, Dusty left the kid — in only his second Major League appearance — in the game to face one of the greatest hitters of all time.
Albert rocked him.
So did Matt Holliday.
Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid! If your arm didn’t hurt before you became a Redleg, believe me when I say you won’t even be able to shake hands after Dusty’s done with ya!
Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Well folks, it’s official. Three days into the 2010 MLB season and we are ready to call it. The Nationals have been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. This really seemed like their year, too, with a lineup anchored by Adam Dunn. But, alas, it was not to be.
Now, some of you are probably sitting there counting on your fingers and saying, “Wait a minute, Allen. I may not be a math major but I’m pretty sure they have not been ‘mathematically’ eliminated.” And you know what? That’s just fine. You can use your “logic” and your “numbers” to scientifically prove that the Nats could still make the playoffs. I have only one thing to say to you. John Lannan. I think I’ve proved my point.
There is still a lot of baseball to be played and there will probably come a day in the not too distant future when all the bean-counters get together and finally realize that the Nationals can no longer make the postseason. Just remember, though, you heard it here first.
Besides, sitting in front of that television watching baseball games and drinking beer all day could be a lot more fun if you just… live a little. And by live, of course I mean entertaining the idea that some Republicans might actually have some good ideas.
No, that’s a lie. I’m talking about gambling. And you know it.
So if you’re gonna gamble, why not gamble on a sure thing… ya know, so it’s not so much like gambling. And just in case you worried you might have to do some work to find a sure thing, relax. RSBS and the trusted interns have already done all the work. So here ’tis, folks, three DEFINITE winners.
Add to your bankroll wisely…
Sure Thing Number 1: Albert Pujols
Uh… hello? If you haven’t been convinced of Albert’s transcending greatness yet, then you are either a) dead b) communist or c) dead. And for all you dead commies, know that Prince Albert went 4-5 with two dingers on Opening Day 2010. Eat it!
Sure Thing Number 2: Paul Lebowitz’s 2010 Baseball Guide
From one prince to another, let it be known that the most ruthless, best writer you’ve never heard of is back, this time with the 2010 edition of his annual baseball guide. You can purchase it *here* on Amazon, or find it through his blogspot site or paullebowitz.com. Dude, if reading The Prince of New York isn’t already a part of your daily routine, then what the hell are you waiting for? The man knows what he’s talking about and this guide will help you with your fantasy teams and your exotic parlays! Oh, and you’ll also gain an in-depth understanding of every aspect of all thirty clubs. Of course, if you don’t check it out there’s always the chance that I might have to break your legs… so… just sayin’…
Sure Thing Number 3: Evan Longoria’s Bad@$$ New Era Commercial
Yep. If you haven’t seen it yet, get ready, ‘cuz this commercial is a man-gasmic (I made that word up so pay me if you use it) trip down to Awesomeville (I made that one up too). Look, I love the Andrew Bailey, Nelson Cruz, Justin Verlander commercials… and Mauer is good and all… but jeesh, watching Longoria play this adventurous hero who takes his headwear seriously causes me virtual fits in a world where I am loyal to Albert and Albert only. Good thing it’s all make-believe, or I might be heading to Albert-Rams-A-Louisville-Slugger-Up-My-Toosh-Opolis (I officially made that up too, but you can blame my sickish and oft pedantic colleague, Mr. Krause, for its idiocy).
So, what are ya waiting for?
Show me the money!
And don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.
Technically it means very little. One game in the course of a 162 game season. But let’s face it. Opening Day is something else. It sets a tone. In 2008, when all the cognoscenti had picked the Tigers to go all the way, those of us who follow the team definitely felt a little hint of worry when they got thumped by the Royals on the first day. And if they could have won on Opening Day last year, that would have been enough to win them the Central and avoid an ill-fated playoff with the Twins.
For such an epic sport, a sport whose history goes back more than a century and whose season lasts more than half a year, baseball is a game of inches and moments. And that’s why we love it. It invokes the saga of multiple generations of both players and fans but allows us to live in the immediacy of a home run or a strikeout pitch.
Opening Day is baseball in miniature. Yes, it’s only one game and yes it doesn’t technically mean that much being only one 162nd of the of the season. But if you ask any of us sitting here watching our Opening Day starter take the mound if this game means something and you can bet your @$$ we’re all going to say yes.
Happy Opening Day and go Tigers!
Any Opening Day rituals? I always wear the same shirt.
Just so we are all clear on this, let it be known that I try to change my shirt at least once every day, every two days if I’m really strapped for time and/or laundry detergent. I mean, I do have a wild side, but I ain’t no goddamn hipster.
But that’s not what you meant, Pete, and for that, I wish I could apologize.
Rituals? Hell yes. Indeed, dear readers, I may be a logical, reason abiding secularist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dip into the crazy pool every once in a while, just for fun.
In fact, the following is a short checklist of things I must have for opening day to complete me:
It will never nag, it will never whine, it will never talk. It doesn’t ask you to skip the game to go to some dinner party. It doesn’t ask “does this make me look fat?” It won’t flip out, drunk dial you at 5 a.m. and force you to change all the locks on your doors. Beer is your friend, people. Make sure you have it. Lots of it.
Um, you can have pizza without beer and beer without pizza, but why would you do something like that? Opening Day calls for order — the first of a regimented 162 — so let’s all get on the same Utopian page and have some ‘za with our beer (this will cause heartburn for a lot of us, but it doesn’t matter. Man up!).
Just when you think you have enough beer you realize you need more beer. It happens all the time. If you’re on a budget, Miller Lite, Old Style or Bud Light will work splendidly (though not Special Export or Hamm’s, unless you want to make out with the toilet later). If money ain’t a thang I suggest Belle’s Oberon, Sam Adams anything or Trout Slayer — the ultimate baseball beer. Whatever kind of beer you stock, make sure you have a lot of it. Why? Because on Opening Day you will also need…
And they will drink your beer. You see, baseball isn’t the grandest game because of its simple complexity — not because of the inherent genius of setting the bases 90 feet apart (imagine the difference if they were set 95 feet apart); baseball is the grandest game because no matter what happens on the field, it can (and will) be shared among a diverse set of people with blanket understanding. A generation gap does not exist. Excluding the inflated numbers of the steroid era, everyone knows what it means to hit 60 homeruns. And when Grand Daddy recollects a Sandy Koufax no-hitter, batter by batter, forty years after the fact without missing any details, I totally know what he’s talking about. The game is meant to be shared, to be argued, to be held in collective awe by its supporters. This is why I like to spend Opening Day with friends. Besides, it helps to know you’re not alone… so make sure you have plenty of…
Because really, if we are going to be forced to watch another nauseating Yankees v. Red Sox matchup to start the season, we might as well be sauced enough to not mind.
And for me that would start around beer number nine…
So let’s get drinkin’!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
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***A clean shirt for Pete from Barrington also welcome.
With today’s brief lull before baseball re-emerges in all its fury to make us forget that basketball and hockey even exist and JC’s big day coming up tomorrow, it seemed like a perfect time to dig into the vault and bring back a classic. Me, I can’t get enough of it.
Happy Easter Saturday or whatever you call today!
Totally off subject and unrelated to anything that is happening in the game of baseball right now, I have to share this:
I was going through the RSBS archive of photographs that we use for our posts and I randomly came across the Little Davey picture with the big helmet. Unfortunately, I had just taken a sip of coffee when I saw it again, and now my computer screen and keyboard are covered in a nice Colombian coffee-saliva mix.
Oh yeah, Little Shane wore one too:
The incidental aspects move around several minor leaguers and role-players but the entirely unexpected part includes the swapping of the two teams’ first basemen: Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. Obviously we will have much more to say about this but you can get a general idea of our initial sentiments here.
Jeff & Al