Defeat doesn’t really hit home unless you get a chance to twist the knife after you’ve stuck it to the other team. Think T.O. or Ochocinco. It isn’t enough that they score the touchdown. No, they have to make sure the entire world knows that they were so sure they would score that they took the time to plan an elaborate post TD celebration.
Baseball rarely achieves quite the same heights (or depths) but a guy standing at the plate for just a couple seconds more than he needs to in order to follow the trajectory of the ball as it exits the field gets his point across just fine. Even pitchers get notoriously wound up when they feel their mojo rising to the point that they start yelling, punching and shaking body parts.
A sport that sometimes gets neglected when it comes to discussions of celebrations, though, is the world’s game, soccer. This isn’t to say that there aren’t celebrations, it’s just that they tend to be of a more spontaneous nature. A player sneaks the ball in past the goalie and runs to the sideline to perform an impromptu dance before getting mobbed by the rest of the team. It doesn’t look rehearsed and that spontaneity is refreshing. Sometimes it’s nice to watch pure emotion run rampant.
But that doesn’t mean that soccer players haven’t developed their own well-choreographed celebrations. For instance, even though their economy may be in shambles and their island blowing up around them, Icelanders sure can put on a good show:
Maybe they should hire these guys and their creativity to restructure the Icelandic banking sector. They couldn’t mess it up much more than the previous architects.
While spending the past weekend in San Francisco, one thing stuck out for its incongruity. A city that claims to be a bastion of liberalism and the protector of all thought left of center really should do more to practice what it preaches. Sure, there are lots of homeless people and the denizens of the city leave them alone in true liberal fashion. But why is the public transit system subpar at best? And are you really saving electricity when you leave your low-wattage bulbs on all day long?
Don’t get me wrong, San Francisco is a beautiful city. I was lucky enough to run a half marathon that took me down the Embarcadero, across the Golden Gate Bridge and up the Presidio. And it was amazing. I also made it to AT&T Park and watched as Barry Zito proceeded to ruin my fantasy scoring for the week. But staring from behind home plate at the line of trees peering over the top of the left field wall, I couldn’t help but wonder how people that pride themselves on eating local also support the importation of palm trees, a species that is in no way native to the area. Sure, like Zito’s sweeping hook they’re beautiful but the upkeep probably costs as much as his contract.
I have an idea for you, San Francisco. Let’s return the palm trees to Los Angeles because even though they aren’t native there, either, at least the fakeness fits. Let’s get a train system with more than two stops in the city so it’s actually worthwhile. And let’s turn off the lights when we leave. I’ll be back in a couple years and I expect results.
Thanks to L for the idea
Goals keep you focused. For instance, Jamie Moyer didn’t just walk out on day one of his MLB career and say, “Hey, I want to give up at least 500 home runs over the next couple decades.” No, he set manageable goals like, “Today I’m going to give up two homers and in my next start, only one.” That’s how records get broken.
Sometimes goals give you purpose. Like when Bill Clinton gets a little contemplative and starts talking about what keeps him going. Sure, he may have been President of the United States, the greatest country in the history of the world, but he’s also just a regular guy who wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro before he dies. And see his grandchildren. Oh, and run a marathon.
Now, I’m a big fan of Clinton. But the guy is starting to look old. If you noticed him tottering around at the World Cup, he looked like an old man wearing a young man’s clothes. I hope he makes it to Kilimanjaro and I certainly hope he gets to see his grandchildren. But, it might also be time to realize that those two things could be mutually exclusive.
More than that, I worry about Bill for another reason. He said The Bucket List was one of his favorite movies. Ok, that’s cute and all but really? You’re a Rhodes Scholar and a past his prime Jack Nicholson running around diving out of airplanes is what does it for you?
At the same time, if I can still run around at 63 like Clinton does, I’ll feel pretty good. I mean, even if he doesn’t look quite as vibrant, the guy still knows where to be and how to do it. Who knows, maybe the way he does it is by having goals. Hey, it worked for Jamie Moyer.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and his Cub-lovin’ pal Johanna Mahmud put their heads together to find out what’s wrong with Joe Buck’s face… they also talk about a slew of other important stuff, including (but not limited to) Andre Dawson being a bad@ss, why everyone hates Cleveland, Pete Hill of the Negro Leagues, Matt Capps’ ginormous noggin, the Lou
Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more… all to make you laughy time!
P.S. Language definitely rated R on this one. We let ourselves go a bit… but it’s a lot of fun (trust us).
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast
podcast is a must-listen (listen to it!). It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard
Recorded Saturday, July 24, 2010
I could care less, Mike.
And that’s… sad. Sorta.
To be honest, I’m so over it — all of it… the steroids, the scandals, the lying, the cover-ups, the BALCOs, the blue sweaters. Yes, there comes a time when even extreme baseball purists like myself have no choice but to let…
Because baseball’s numbers will never be the same. Never. Long gone are the days when a digit might suggest greatness. The hallowed marks of achievement died sometime in the late 80s, when a clubhouse party at the Coliseum consisted of needles, juice and dudes gettin’ jacked. They killed it — they murdered the prestige. It’s all dead now. The numbers will never be as important as they were before PEDs, before Barry, before A-Rod.
I’ve finally come to terms with that.
And I’m also happy to say that the desacrilization of baseball’s numbers won’t kill the game.
I used to think it would.
And it won’t.
Which is exactly why baseball is the grandest game on the planet. It has withstood wars, betting scandals, collusion, labor disputes. Its integrity has been challenged. Its image has been smeared. On many occasions, it has even been left for dead.
But it always comes back to life. And it comes back to life bigger, better, stronger.
Hank Aaron. 755.
Roger Maris. 61.
Those are the ones we choose — collectively, as a people, as a community — those are the ones we’ll remember.
The other numbers? I couldn’t tell you how many homeruns Barry Bonds hit in his career. I couldn’t tell you because I don’t care. The public doesn’t care. We don’t care.
And that’s a beautiful sign that baseball has moved on, beyond the numbers; because, let’s face it: sometimes, you just have to move on.
In our case, we are all very lucky, because we get to move on together.
I’m right on that, Mike. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz of it.
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I always give young kids a pass in the embarrassingly dressed department because it’s hard to blame someone whose parents still clothe them. If you had seen me walking around during the summer 25 years ago, I hope you would have been as kind. Honestly, I still wonder what my mom was thinking when she let me choose my own material and then made shorts out of it.
When grown men don’t realize that they’re dressed inappropriately, though, that’s a different matter. For instance, what is wrong with Craig Sager and in what universe would those jackets and ties ever be considered acceptable? But as you’re pondering that question, witness something that trumps even Craig:
Somebody needs their momma to slap them a good one.
Besides baseball, one could say that I get pretty ravenous about the arts. Especially in the winter, when all is dead on the diamond. I pay rent at the Art Institute of Chicago. That’s how often you’ll find me there.
So I got to thinking… what would happen if I combine baseball with the arts?
That’s what would happen.
Congrats on the Hall, Andre.
Congrats on being one of the best.
And thanks for not hating me ‘cuz I’m right.
I try to watch Jon Stewart as much as possible since he seems to be the only person who realizes how bat-sh!t crazy Michele Bachmann truly is. She’s like Sarah Palin with less brains and less media savvy. Yeah, scary.
But I also like Stewart because he does a great job of getting his comic friends to drop by and ostensibly promote the shows they’re working on. For instance, Denis Leary is a regular guest and just the other week I saw both Chris Rock and Adam Sandler on the show together. It’s a good thing when you can count guys like that among your friends and when they actually return your phone calls. Yeah, Jeff. I’m talking to you. Ever answer your phone there big guy?
Sorry. Back to the point. The thing of it is, though, that Stewart and his guests rarely talk about the show or movie they’ve stopped by to promote. They make an attempt but then it goes out the window and it’s more like watching a conversation between two old friends and you were lucky enough to be there. Like a recent episode when Louis C. K. stopped by to talk about his new show. They showed a clip, it was funny but then most of the conversation was about other random stuff.
But when I finally saw a little bit more about Louis’ show, I realized that I may have missed out on something spectacular. See if you catch it at the end of this clip………
……..Yeah, Jamie Moyer! Dishing up the homerun like it’s going out of style. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have the same effect if I tried it.