Results tagged ‘ Astros ’

The Unforgotten

rod_blagjojevich.jpgWhen Chicagoans have lost interest in a political scandal, then it’s safe to say, so has the rest of the country.

Anything wrong with that?  Not in my opinion.  In a world full of greed, hate, debauchery and Cubs baseball, I find solace knowing that even the tireless spin-doctoring and smoke-screening of Rod Blagojevich eventually falls on the deaf ears of a nation distracted with the task of rebuilding itself.

Blago’s days as governor are as numbered as Joe Morgan is annoying; and soon, he will just be another political coelacanth — a footnote in the oppression and wasted tax-dollars of a people.

Good riddance.

In my fervent bidding adieu, I refuse to let Blago’s self-indulgent, gloomy demise get me down.  The older I get, the more I realize how little my brain can actually remember if not trained otherwise; thus, I find it best to replace negativity with post-partisan positivity.  So it is, on this four degree Sunday afternoon, with a broken heart and three cups of coffee too many, that I find grace in the baseball-politico memories dearest to me.

Of course, there are always the Joe Carters, the Kirk Gibsons, the Ozzie Smithsthe inauguration of a new hope for my country… those are all givens.  Today I focus on the obscure, the seemingly minute, the more poignant personal moments that help me to forget about what an awful place this earth can be sometimes.  And so I begin…

Ozzie Guillen Goes to Bobby Jenks
A move he’s made several times, but never as interesting as it was during the 2005 post-season when Ozzie motioned for Jenks by extending his arms out sideways as if to say: “Bring in the fat fella.”

Talking to Carlos Lee Outside Wrigley Field
Having gone hitless against Ted Lilly that night, I was stunned to see a smiling Carlos Lee on the corner of Sheffield and Addison waiting to get on the Astros player’s bus.  I approached him — all gargantuan 230 plus pounds of him — and flippantly asked: “Caballo, what happened?”

“Ball move too much, man.”

I’m still laughing at that one.

“Yes We Can” Viral Video

Sure, I admit I’m a sucker for inspirational acts of creativity… this one still gets me.

Brian Anderson’s Catch
Picture it, October 1, 2008… a one game playoff between the White Sox and Twins to crown the AL Central winner, and a Jim Thome homerun is all that separates the two when we reach the top of the ninth and two outs.  A sharp flare streamlines to right center field, in comes Brian Anderson… instant party on the Southside.

Bill Clinton on Carroll Quigley, DNC 1992

As a young, impressionable, questioning 12 year-old, this quote pushed me in to politics… to stay.

Adam Wainwright’s Curveball
Whether it was striking out Carlos Beltran looking or Brandon Inge swinging, I’ve never seen a more devastating hook — ever.

Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Address
I thought a change was a comin’… didn’t know it was going to take so long, but it got me revved up nonetheless.

Yadier Molina Hitting .304 in 2008
After the rocket homerun he hit off Aaron Heilman to beat the Mets in the 2006 NLCS, Molina became my indisputable hero.  To see him blossom into a true hitter in conjunction with his unrivaled defensive skills just makes me want to hug the guy any chance I get.  Yadi, you out there, pal?  Let’s hook that up.

Grandma Lois Talking Baseball
May she rest in peace, my beloved grandmother was talking Cardinals baseball like no other 84 year-old I knew.  Before the 2004 season, she told me: “It’d be nice to see Edmonds and Rolen have really good years.”  She died on April 20, 2004; Jimmy and Scott both put up career numbers and vied for the MVP.  I know she’s still smiling about that one.

Post 9/11 Baseball in New York

I’d be hard pressed to find a more inspiring, more electric, more communal surge of patriotic energy and overall bipartisan goodwill towards all through the greatest game on earth than what took place in New York City that fall. 

I still get goosebumps just thinking of it.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Breath of Fresh Air

World series 2008 logo.jpgMy only solace in the aftermath of being so, so wrong in my playoff predictions so far is that finally, dear readers, we have a World Series matchup — which doesn’t include the Yankees nor the New Yankees (aka Boston Red Sox) — that may actually drum up viewership across this great US America of ours (and perhaps even a handful in Canada). 

Whilst the 2006 World Series will always stand out as one of the greatest moments of my lifetime to date, I am completely aware that I was one of very few people who actually gave a damn, considering both the Cardinals and the Tigers weren’t big market teams from either coast.  The 2005 edition featuring the White Sox and Astros wasn’t much better in terms of mass viewership nationwide, though it was probably one of the most entertaining and heart-thumping series I’ve ever seen.

Such drama is lost on a nation that worships thwarting monopolizing bullies, NASCAR and blockbuster comedic films starring Ben Stiller as the same haphazard goofball character he plays in every Ben Stiller movie. 

But folks, this could be the year for a new found enthusiasm for the greatest game on earth.  I believe.  For two underdogs with two very unique stories will face each other in the grand finale and though I have been searching my brain for the last 18 hours or so to find the one I want to see win the most, I truly cannot. 

joe maddon 2.jpgThe Rays will have the ultimate story going in (working title: From Worst to First After Dropping the “Devil” from Our Name) and I’m positive that an entire band of bandwagoneers will join the drama just to say they were part of it; and in the end, why not?  How can you not like this team?  They’re young.  They’re enthusiastic.  They play with heart and passion and speed and pride.  And their manager is probably the coolest looking dude in town with those gaudy personality glasses and his “9 = 8″ psychomath sensibility. 

Meanwhile, the Phillies — whom my colleague Mr. Krause picked to win it all — come in to the World Series playing superb baseball with their starting pitching and clutch hitting leading the Philadelphia way: hard-nosed, hard-pressed and hard-up for a title.  Never mind their raucous, undeserved phreakazoid phans.  The City of Brotherly Love is as thirsty for a sports championship as the Democrats are for winning an election.  And this could be the year.

But if I have to come out and say it, I say this is the year of the Tampa Bay Rays

Indeed, the Cinderella story will come to its ultimately heartwarming conclusion.  And if that pisses you off, Phillies fans, don’t get too riled up; my prediction accuracy is about as on point as Rush Limbaugh is sane: not very

And for those of you right-wing gun-totin’ liberal-hatin’ conservatives whom I have just offended by saying that, I think there’s at least one thing that we can agree on — no, two things:

1) This World Series is gonna be good.

..and…

2) This clip might very well be the best political spoof the planet has ever seen:

http://widgets.nbc.com/o/4727a250e66f9723/48fd11d4b3d1fde1/48fafb9dab35f5ae/95eeda6a/-cpid/d00853353f9ba73e/clipID/773781/video_title/Saturday+Night+Live+-+Update%3a+Palin+Rap/video_imgurl/http%3a%2f%2fvideo.nbc.com%2fplayer%2fmezzanine%2fimage.php%3fw%3d350%26h%3d196%26path%3dnbc2%2f13b9ce5f032c04210176ab48cd191c3b_mezzn.jpg%26hash%3db270dcf8f4ab9e749b81b1fe205d1989/video_url/http%3a%2f%2fwww.nbc.com%2fSaturday_Night_Live%2fvideo%2fclips%2fupdate-palin-rap%2f773781%2f/video_description/Amy+steps+in+for+Gov.+Palin?storeInPid=true

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Speaking of Losers…

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for loser.jpgJust when I thought the Chicago Cubs had genuinely forgotten how to lose this season they surprised me and went on a well-deserved five-game losing streak.  For the last several days, seeing them falter to the festering Phils and resurgent Astros, I have been reminded that indeed: they are still the Cubs.  And losing Carlos Zambrano for a stretch due to rotator cuff tendinitis sure won’t help their case to win the Central.

Now, am I willing to go there and say there’s a chance they could continue on this hapless streak, not win the Central and miss the playoffs entirely?  Not on your life, dear reader.  I’d like to have the guile to say that, but I’m just not that dumb.  I’ve been watching this team destroy my worldview all year long and I don’t expect them to stop until they reach the playoffs. 

Just set your clocks for them losing in the first round.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for kwame kilpatrick.jpgAnd since we’re on the topic of losers, let me add to the list that my not-exactly-humble colleague, Allen Krause, so graciously offered

As a head-in-the-sand Tiger fan, I’m sure Mr. Krause will appreciate the losership of one Detroit ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his likely fall from power.  Now I have bashed Kwame for his idiocy in the past, but I must admit how impressed I am that he was able to get those charges (perjury, assault, etc) dropped to just a couple counts of obstruction of justice.  I guess when you’re that big and that scary looking you can get away with being an ^sshole — just ask Roger Clemens.

Or ask his former team, the New York Yankees, who are vying for the top spot in disappointing loserdom this season.  While the curtain hasn’t made its final descent on the Yankee stage, you can be sure that the damn thing is on fire and burning into oblivion, as are the hopes and dreams of a Yankee post-season appearance.  The Prince of New York has done them in — read article — and so have I. 

There.  I just did it. 

Did you see that?

carlos quentin.jpgNo?  Okay, well, did you see that White Sox sensation Carlos Quentin is out with a wrist injury for an undetermined amount of time?  If you’re a Sox fan, this is not good news and you should be invoking the baseball gods for Ken Griffey, Jr. to return back to his 1997 form right now.  Give up your first born… eat a cat… whatever, you gotta do something.  And let me tell ya, the worst amount of time to be out of the lineup is an ‘undetermined amount of time.’  I had a girl tell me that she wanted to see other people for an ‘undetermined amount of time’ and that didn’t go so well.

But let me tell you about the loser in Jordan — yes, that’s right, the country: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan –  who did a Yahoo! search for:


“what outlandish mean you are red white and blue”

…and was lucky enough to find the RSBS blog as the first site to pop up.

Gee, that guy was probably all excited to find some US Americans to hate on but instead what he found was a plethora of ingenious posts written by two well-spoken, edumacated MLBloggers with the propensity to post pictures of pretty, powerful, secular women whom would never be invited to serve as one of the seventy-two virgins.

Ouch.  Don’t hate me on that one ‘cuz you know I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

My Friend, Karl Rove

OriolePark.jpgWhen it comes to the Tigers, I’ve realized that the best approach is the approach taken by thousands of animal lovers and jilted lovers the world over:

“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back it’s yours forever. If not, it was never meant to be.”

Now, I love Tigers baseball. I mean, I don’t want to marry it or anything but the feelings I had watching Maggs hit that homerun against the A’s in 2006 to send the Tigers to the World Series, well, they were some pretty strong feelings. It’s like how I felt watching Cecil Fielder back in the day and how I felt a couple weeks ago when my brother and I got to watch the Tigers pile on the Orioles for six runs in the first inning. And it’s because of this love that I had to release the Tigers to their destiny this past week. It’s not for me to decide their fate but there’s nothing I can do to help either. So, I set them free.

However, it seems that some people have taken umbrage with this decision and called me out in public. To this I can only say: Mr. Lung, I denounce and reject your most recent post. Especially its typically red state divisive tactics of preying on the fear people have when it comes to immigration. I didn’t realize the Mssrs. Renteria and Cabrera spoke like some two-bit villian from an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. But, leave it to the Karl Rove inspired politicking of a red state fan to base an argument on stereotypes and America’s misguided fear of immigrants. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Major League Baseball would be a very sad sport these days without the new levels of talent brought to the league by our friends from the south. And even if Sheff doesn’t like it, they’re here to stay. So, lets try to keep this debate on the up-and-up and leave behind the caricatures, eh? It’s what Tupac would want us to do.

-A

Countdown to Incompetence

mozeliak_2.jpgThe July 31st trade deadline isn’t getting any further away yet the St. Louis Cardinals front office, led by GM John Mozeliak, seems content with not trying to get better for a possible playoff push.  Apparently, Mozeliak, who is beginning to remind us of a certain head of state stubborn enough to believe his own methods of irresponsibility and subtle lunacy will actually work despite the entire planet’s discouragement, is quite okay with sitting back and letting fate (or the lack thereof) decide the ballclub’s competitive future.

In case you weren’t watching that god-awful series against the Brewers last week, Mr. Mozeliak, the Cardinals desperately need bullpen reinforcements.  DESPERATELY.  Pull the trigger.  Go out and get a guy who can hold a lead in the late innings.  Do something — anything — that will prove to Cardinals fans that you actually care.  We US Americans can no longer accept the fact that the Cubs, Brewers, Yankees, even the Astros, are spending a little bit of money, going out and getting all the pieces they need to make it to the post season.

And now that Izzy has been given the closer duties — again — our best bet is to have at least a 9-run lead going into the final innings of the game.  The Cardinals bullpen has already given me a serious heart condition and as I have said before, watching them in save situations makes me extremely uncomfortable. 

How uncomfortable?

As uncomfortable as you’ll feel watching this:

Yes, that really happened. 

Yes, Corey Feldman really takes himself seriously. 

And yes, it’s hard to feel more uncomfortable than that… though the Cardinals brass, with their non-existent attempts at making a deal, are trying their very hardest to best it.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Cold, Cold World

old style 002.jpgYesterday was a beautiful day here in the Chi.  By the time I had cracked through my fifth 16-ouncer of Old Style, the high temperature had surpassed the 80 degree mark, I had already paid my respects to my late Grandpa Larry Hocker (U.S. Army) and all seemed well in the world. 

Being the conservator of energy that I am, I stopped myself from turning on the air conditioner, even though it was quite balmy in my Southside apartment.  In fact, I went to bed with the windows open, forcing myself to think about North Korea instead of the myriad troubles that boggled my mind. 

And then… I was out.  Cold.

And then… I was up.  Cold.

Really friggin’ cold.

With goosepimples up and down my skin, I jumped out of bed and ran around the house shutting windows, all the time fighting a mighty wind that threatened me with a forty degree bite.

And today?  47 degrees was the average high.  So much for global warming… how about global friggin’ freezing?  The cold has been such a deterrent that I didn’t even bat an eye after the Astros jumped out to a 4 – 0 lead against the Cardinals in the first inning tonight.

I didn’t break one single appliance when Jonathan Broxton gave up the go-ahead run to the Cubs late in a low-scoring game. 

And I didn’t threaten to kill anyone when Hawk & D.J. started talking about their ballplayin’ days (AGAIN) during the Sox/Tribe broadcast. 

No. 

I think the cold has gotten to me.  I think I should consider moving to a warmer climate.  I think I might already be dead — existing solely as a ghost, haunting the drunken lives of Cub fans worldwide. 

Okay. So I’m not dead, but until we see some May-like weather, consider me hibernating.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m all of the sudden not making sense.  The Tigers are still terrible, the Yankees are done and Cub fans are still getting ahead of themselves.  These statements would be true no matter how cold it is. 

And though I know how difficult it may be, please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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