When it comes to my favorite holidays there is, of course, April Fool’s Day, National Cleavage Day and My Bent and Oft Hoodwinked Colleague Gets PWNED by a Commenter Day.
But nothing — I repeat: NO-THING beats Opening Day.
To celebrate, I give you DRUNK Rick Sutcliffe:
Now, if we could just get a Play Tennis In Your Underwear Day.
Happy Opening Day and Let’s Go Cards!
I love analogies, similes, metaphors, allusions and every other word tool that allows us to paint a picture of the unknown using something we’re already aware of. Some authors make entire worlds come to life with their words while others redefine things we thought we had always known. That’s one of the joys in writing these posts. Trying to think of new ways to describe political events using baseball terminology and vice-versa exercises the brain and occasionally leads to eureka moments.
So, you can imagine how excited I was to come across the following passage the other day:
“You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say ‘that’s climate change’. But a warmer atmosphere loads the dice, increasing the potential for historic spikes in temperature and more frequent and bizarre weather extremes. You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bond’s 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use. But it did increase his ‘base state,’ raising the overall odds of hitting a home run.”
Hot damn! Not only does that provide a great explanation of what climate change really means, it also presents Barry Bonds and his ever-present asterisk in a way I had never considered before. That’s two for the price of one. Too bad I didn’t think of it first.
What does a World Champion do to his World Champion pal on April Fool’s Day?
Berkman plays truck prank on Wainwright
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. — Lance Berkman and several Cardinals teammates helped pull off a terrific April Fools’ joke on Adam Wainwright during Sunday’s game.
The pranksters had the public address announcer give away a car to a fan, who, playing along with the gag, ran onto the field to collect his gift. Berkman drove the vehicle — Wainwright’s white Chevy Silverado — onto the field and past an unsuspecting Wainwright, who did a double-take at the license plate while sitting in the dugout.
The winning fan, who was David Freese’s cousin, jumped into the back of the truck and Berkman drove out of the stadium.
I love being witness to the shenanigans baseballers indulge in. And I ain’t talkin’ about chicken, beer and video game shenanigans.
I’m talkin’ about bubble gum caps, the infamous “hot foot”, and my personal favorite, the post home run silent treatment. In my opinion, Alex Rodriguez is the best at dishing this one out to unsuspecting rookies. Every time I see it happen I literally L-O-L.
Another hilarious prank that takes place almost every single day of the season is what happens (or doesn’t happen) at Wrigley Field from April to September, though that’s another post for another day.
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
So the Cubs traded their best lefty (Sean Marshall) for Travis Wood and then Travis Wood doesn’t even make the team. Is Theo doing it right?
Remember when Barack Obama first came into office and the U.S. and world economies were doing their best impressions of 1929? Well, that’s kind of where Epstein sits right now. It would be easier to just burn the place down and start over (which is always an option when you’re talking about Chicago) but there’s no way anyone would support that. So, he’s going to have to make the most of what he has and slowly try to rebuild.
That doesn’t necessarily mean simply accepting the situation, though. Normally, when you pay big money for a guy or give up a big name in a trade, the expectation is that new guy is going to play and you’ll just have to suffer if he doesn’t quite catch his groove right away. Think Carl Crawford on the Red Sox. Think Dontrelle Willis on the Tigers. Think Barack Obama with TARP. But leaders don’t always accept that situation. Sometimes they have to make the tough decisions and break with expectations. That’s what Obama did with GM and even made the government some money in the process. It appears like maybe that’s what Epstein is trying to do with the Cubs, too.
Sean Marshall is a good reliever. According to Epstein, he’s maybe the “most valuable left-handed reliever in all of baseball.” But what good is having the most valuable left-handed reliever in baseball if your starting pitching is terrible, your defense is atrocious and you can’t score runs? Epstein realizes the Cubs aren’t going to be a winning ball club this year. He realizes they probably won’t be a winning ball club next year either. But he’s setting himself up for success three or four seasons down the line.
Remind you of anyone else? Bailing out the auto industry wasn’t popular but three years later, after watching the recession crest and slowly subside, we now see hiring going back up and the economy beginning to grow again. That’s the difference between guys like Epstein and Obama and wannabes like Hendry. Attempts to implement quick fixes for immediate results more often lead to systemic failure. Epstein, like the president, has to slowly flush that through, suffering short-term difficulties for long-term success.
So, long story short, yeah, Theo is doing it right. But that’s not going to stop people from yelling and screaming during the first few painful years. Marshall is gone and Wood got sent to the minors. But they have more money to go after other important pieces, they have a solid prospect in the minors who could work his way back and they didn’t try to force someone into a role they simply couldn’t handle at this point. When you think about it, Theo seems positively presidential.
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