Results tagged ‘ Babe Ruth ’

The Filibuster

This weekend will see the very last game ever at hallowed Yankee Stadium. On this blog you have made it no secret that you are everything anti-Yankees, but even you must feel some sadness in seeing this historical and cultural relic fall to the wrecking ball. Please enlighten us with some of your favorite Yankee Stadium memories; while doing so, try not to shed too many tears.

– Jeff

                                                                                        _

I only visited Yankee Stadium one time while I living in NYC. I remember it well.

The year was 2006 and the Tigers were lighting up the American League on their magical (but tragically aborted) run to the World Series. A friend of mine got tickets through her company when the Tigers came into town for a series with the Yankees and so I found myself in the Bronx on a weeknight in September. Well, I assume it was September. I don’t really remember all that well. And that was when my magical night began.

First off, I came straight from work so I had my small messenger bag with me. Bad idea. Turns out you’re not allowed to carry anything into Yankee Stadium with you. So instead I had to check it at a bowling alley next door. When I finally got inside, the seats were amazing, right down in a field box along the 1st base line but there was one small problem. Yankee fans. Of course I suppose I should have expected it since I had worn my Tigers hat. But I didn’t realize that I had basically signed up for a couple hours of taunting.

The taunting was bearable up until they hit the point in game where “God Bless America” is sung. Now, I love my country and I always stand for the “Star Spangled Banner.” I could not be more proud to be an American and that’s why I took a job where I could serve my country. But this whole “God Bless America” fad is nothing but a post-9/11 NYC conceit and I’m an atheist to boot so I remained in my seat.

SaddamYankee.jpgTurns out that this was a bad idea since the taunting then took on a whole new level of awfulness. From that point on, even after the song was finished, I was accused of everything from hating America to being a child rapist. Granted, Yankee fans are known for their boorishness and my experience was actually better than others I have heard about. But after that experience my feelings towards Yankee Stadium are similar to my feelings towards France. It would be a wonderful place if not for the people in it.

So, that’s what I think about Yankee Stadium’s imminent passing into history. The best thing I can say about “The House that Ruth Built” is that at least it’s better than Shea.

-A

Biden Time

joe biden.jpgIt’s official.  Joe Biden will be Barack Obama’s running mate for the 2008 presidential election.  I’m okay with it.  Really.  I am.

I only hope that this duo will be reminiscent of the one-two punch of Schilling and Johnson who took it all the way in 2001.

I only hope that this duo will look more like Gehrig and Ruth on the field rather than Gehrig and Ruth off the field. 

I only hope that this duo has enough to beat the critics and become the mighty force that Big Papi and Manny Ramirez became in Boston.

manny and david ortiz.jpgWill Biden being Biden become the hottest new catchphrase of 2008?  While my hopes against that happening remain high, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit my anxiety that Biden may demand a trade at the very last minute.

Hold on to your seats, folks, dear readers, my fellow US Americans

We’re just gettin’ started.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

A Closer by any Other Name…

With the imminent advent of a new football season, it’s time for RSBS to explore areas where a brown, oblong ball and a small, white ball overlap. The basics are pretty clear in that they both include a ball and two opposing teams but beyond that, there really isn’t that much they have in common. Maybe the silly tight pants? However, there is one area where they bear a striking resemblance.

Baseball today subscribes to the adage that you can’t win without a dominant closer. He can be a finesse guy, he can be an overpowering guy but he has to be able to shut down the other team for somewhere between 1 or more innings at the end of a game. This ranks them right up there in the same category as field goal kickers.

Now, before you start complaining, I fully recognize that both field goal kickers and closers are gifted with incredible physical talents. There’s no way I could kick a 50 yard field goal. In fact, there’s no way I could kick a 15 yard field goal. Similarly, I probably can’t throw a baseball more than 60 miles an hour, much less hit that tiny little strikezone.

But that doesn’t change the fact that both kickers and closers are specialty guys who come in for very specific tasks that have evolved with their respective games. And the rewards for these thankless jobs are relatively miniscule. Except on rare occasions, their best hope is just to remain invisible while attempting to succeed. Because when they fail, you can be sure their picture will be splashed across the front of the sports section (or the front page of various blogs).

Closers come from different backgrounds, sometimes converted starters who just can’t handle the innings anymore or guys with funky deliveries who can’t last outside of 25 pitches. And kickers tend to be guys who got kicked off the soccer team in high school or who were just too small to play any other position. Seriously, can you imagine Martin Grammatica playing wide receiver? He’d die, simple as that.

gaffe_canseco.jpgI suppose everything in life these days is heading towards more specialization and it’s rare that you find a renaissance man who can perform more than one task (unlike the ubermensch pictured here). But it’s kind of a shame that guys like Carlos Zambrano and Micah Owings are more the exception than the rule.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no purist and I have no desire for things to go back to the days of Babe Ruth or Bronko Nagurski. If you think players get injured a lot now, just imagine if they had to do double duty. But, I think we can shed a single tear for the end of an era before we except our new, super-specialized overlords.

-A

Blame It On the Booze

Yes, dear readers, our venerable GW Bush came out yesterday and enlightened us with what has really been going on with the continuously slumping economy.  Folks, it had nothing to do with poor management at home, questionable foreign policies nor an ever widening gap between Red and Blue US American ideologies.  No. 

“Wall Street got drunk.”
                       – G.W. Bush

Thank the gods.  I was a tad bit worried there as I watched gas prices in Chicago soar to $4.50 a gallon.  I was just slightly disturbed when I spent $40 bucks at CVS and all I bought were paper towels, crossword puzzles and American Pie: Band Camp on DVD.  And I was a tad nervous when the doctor told me he could remove the lesions if only I put on a blonde wig, some heels and called him “Daddy”. 

But thankfully, none of that was a result of a gummed-up government overrun by lobbyists and big oil.  No.  Wall Street has just been boozin’ a bit… and that, dear readers, is certainly understandable.

Because nothin’ says America like a good old buzz.

I certainly am not immune from this.  In fact, by perusing the plentiful posts here at RSBS one could rightfully gather that we (Allen and I) are a bunch of drunks ourselves.  It’s true!  We are not ashamed!

US America is a country built on the boozing backgrounds of Europeans, Asians, Africans — all drunks!  Like baseball and apple pie, an everlasting state of drunkenness is simply the American way; Wall Street could not hide for long.

In light of this new information, let us follow the President’s lead:

Every good drunk needs his drunken hero and baseball has always provided plenty.  From Babe Ruth to Ty Cobb to Josh Hamilton, the grandest game on earth has never stopped producing inebriated icons.  Jim Edmonds was mine until he switched sides, but I’ve included his picture here still because of the pleasant company he keeps while out on the town.  Nowadays, I look to the boozing comeback of Sidney Ponson for inspiration… what a story.  And Rondell White.  He wasn’t named in the Mitchell Report because of his weakness for Tanqueray and tonics *wink, wink* but the man was a leader in the party scene. 

jim edmonds.jpgsidney ponson.jpgThumbnail image for rondell white.jpgTo these baseball heroes and a quick hangover recovery for our economy I raise my glass with you and say “Cheers!”  I also ask that you don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m (burp) right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

Tommy LaSorda is fat.  I mean really fat.  So is John Kruk.  Which current
ballplayer or manager is most likely to become grotesquely obese like
these two men?

–Allen

                                                                                        

Due to the recent developments and growing notoriety of Red State Blue State, it is certainly arguable that I may have lost any sense of humility I once had.  My attorney has advised me to remain silent on this issue, so I will; however, I cannot stop myself from pointing out the increasingly shallow nature of my colleague, Allen Krause.  After much deliberation, my agent has advised me to go ahead and tackle this insensitive inquiry despite the possible repercussions because “there is no such thing as bad press.”

So, Al, my aura and I will now address your lowbrow turn from inquisitive, thought-provoking debate:

lasordasleeps.jpgYeah, Lasorda is overweight.  Kruk is overweight.  A slew of baseball folks easily fit into that dangerous weight category.  But you know what?  That’s just one of the many reasons why I enjoy the game of baseball more than any other sport.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for johnkruk.jpgHow many competitive sports do you know where a 300 pound man without muscle tone toting around a big, paunch beer belly can be considered a real athlete?  Sure, the NFL has 300+ pound men all over the field, but those guys work out and look good (for the most part).  Meanhwile, big slobby-lookin’ dudes like David Wells, Bobby Jenks and David Weathers thrive as dominant athletes… well, Wells (used to) and Jenks (does) anyway.

I find it quite satisfying seeing an everyday-lookin’ joe like Jenks or Kruk achieve all that success with such a corpulent physique.  It reminds me that baseball is a game that anyone can play — fat guys included — so it creates the illusion that even I, a 29 year old, 5’8, 155 lb. Mandarin-speaking white guy with a 48 mph fastball and a slider that always hangs, could possibly make it to the Big Leagues.  Okay, maybe I’m totally wrong on that… but you get my point.

Of course, this isn’t what Mr. Krause wants to hear.  What he is really asking is which current manager/player is most likely to be the face of NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig. 

My response? 

That is the dumbest question I have ever heard, Al, and you should be ashamed for taking up such precious MLBlog space by asking it.  The 2008 season has begun, your team stinks, my team is in first place, the Jason Grilli ERA Watch has dipped considerably (8.44 at the time of this publication), the Diamondbacks are the best team in baseball, the Sawx v. Evil Empire series is in full-force and all you can muster out of that skinny little head of yours is ‘who will be the fattest person in baseball?’

goreangryatal.jpgShame on you.

I see what you’re trying to do: you’re trying to paint me into a corner, force me to make a fool of myself and talk about something else so we will be distracted from the atrocities of the Tigers and your point of view.  Mr. Krause, I will not subject our readers to such shallow diatribes. 

But I will post some pictures of my favorite plus-size ballplayers, past and present:

bobbyjenks.jpgterrypendleton.jpg

baberuth.jpg

tonygwynnHOF.jpgdavidwells.JPGbigpapi.jpg

alfonseca.jpgrayking.jpgfernandovalenzuela.jpg

So there you have it.  9 of my favorite players with above average appetites.  All this writing about it is making me hungry.  I think I’ll just have an apple.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers