Results tagged ‘ HOF ’

Terra Infirma

haiti_earthquake.jpgThis has been a week of upheaval in both the physical and existential sense of the word.  We continue to be bombarded by images of Haiti and even today a new quake brought new fear.  And in the US, both minor and major tremors shook us as McGwire admitted what we had always suspected and the Democrats lost what was supposed to be a sure thing.

In times of upheaval people search for solidity, for something they can cling to as their world is dashed to pieces.  For Haitians this is an ongoing search as even their government and their public services have fallen apart.  And for baseball fans, even though we knew what McGwire was up to, we go back to the basics and try to rediscover again why we love this game.

For the Democrats, they are in much the same spot as the Haitians.  I remember standing on the lawn between the capitol and the Washington Monument a year ago as President Obama gave his historic inauguration speech.  But a year later his star power has faded to the point that a virtual unknown was able to take the seat held by Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion, for nearly the past five decades.

The real question before all of us is what happens next?  Is it possible for Haitians to go back to living a normal existence when even the ground betrays them?  Can we trust any of our baseball heroes anymore or do we have to assume that they are all lying?  And does the promise of a universal health care system fade away for another 20 years until we once again realize how broken and rigged the current system is?

Upheaval forces us to answer difficult questions.  And whether major or minor, these answers take time.  Me, I’m a realist and always have been.  I expect people to take the easy route.  In another two weeks, Haiti will disappear from the news and we won’t hear about it again until the next time a disaster strikes.  Despite the nearly universally accepted realization that health care is broken, our leaders will shy away from making us taste the bitter medicine and unfortunate people (who, luckily for the politicians, don’t tend to vote) will continue to fall through the cracks.  And Mark McGwire, a self-confessed liar and cheater, will continue to make an exorbitant salary as a hitting coach while Pete Rose is banned from baseball.  That, my friends, is reality.

-A

Swing Away, Al!!!

Allen Krause.jpgDear readers!  Stand up!  Celebrate!

Let’s dance!

For today is January 15!  And that means today is Mr. Allen Krause’s 31st birthday!

And since it is my jaded pal’s special day, I thought it best not to rip on how he looks like like a young (albeit more intelligent) Joe Maddon; so instead I am going to go against the RSBS norm and actually do something nice for him!

That’s right, folks.  Y’all know that Al is a huge (sometimes annoying) Detroit Tigers fan… so today, to help Mr. Krause celebrate his very own life, I would like to present three awesome Detroit Tigers facts that I researched all by myself (with the help of the RSBS interns).

Happy Birthday, Al old buddy!

Awesome Tigers Fact #1:

Since the birth of Allen Krause, the Detroit Tigers have lost 2,546 games!  And that fancy schmancy fact includes four whole seasons with 103 or more losses, like that stellar 2003 season when the Tiggers lost a mind-blowing 119 games!

Awesome Tigers Fact #2:

Despite being Mr. Krause’s boyhood hero while boasting impressive numbers over 20 Major League seasons, good old Alan Trammell is NOT in the Hall of Fame!  For real!  I’m serious!

Awesome Tigers Fact #3:

This fella made $10 million in 2009 while putting up these gaudy numbers: 1 W, 7.49 ERA, 7.5 BB/9

dontrelle willis close up.jpgThem’s all true facts!  So don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

I have known Mr. Krause for over twelve and a half years now and I can honestly say — without even a smidgen of doubt — that one couldn’t ask for a better friend than Allen.

And I mean the hell out of that.

Happy Birthday, brother!

Peace,

Jeff

Having Fun with Pete LaCock

pete lacock.jpgA few days ago I was at a Christmas party thrown by a client of my employer, and just like at any other social event, I tried to curb my baseball talk as much as I could because, well, not everyone is as enthusiastic about baseball as I.  Some people even think I’m a weirdo.

Whatever.

But then I got to talking to a high school kid — a kid who has drawn attention in the Chicago area for perhaps having what it takes to someday get to the big leagues — and before long we were discussing the finer points of pitching.  Like the Cardinalphile that I am, I had no choice but to reference the gutsiness of one Bob Gibson.

“Who?” the kid asked.

It took a lot out of me to not deck this kid in the face for not knowing who Bob Gibson was, but I took a deep breath and decided to educate him on the Hall of Famer the best I could: by telling a story.

“By 1975, Gibson had already lost much of what made him the baddest, scariest, most dominating pitcher in the National League, but he still had guts.  Still had pride. 

“The last batter he ever faced in the big leagues was a pinch hitter by the name of Pete LaCock.  The Cardinals were playing the Cubs and LaCock came in with the bases loaded.

“LaCock hit a grand slam.

“Years later, in an old timer game, Gibson is on the mound and guess who comes to the plate to face him.  Yep.  Good ‘ol Pete LaCock.

“Gibson drilled him in the back.”

I finished my story and looked at the kid, waiting to see what kind of reaction I’d get, knowing that I had just hit a homerun in conveying what kind of bad^ss Gibson really was.

But the kid was laughing — a snicker at first, then a chuckle, then an all out cackle.

“What?” I asked.  “What’s so funny?”

“Dude,” said the kid, “That guy’s name was LaCock?!  LaCock!  Hahaha!  LaCOCK!”

Gotta admit: I snorted a little when I joined in the laughter. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Google Knows EVERYTHING II

baseball hall of fame.gifThe 2010 Hall of Fame ballot is out and the names are all there for our relentless ridicule.  Meh.  Let’s not make this too difficult now, shall we?  There is only one nominee who is a surefire lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and that man is Barry Larkin.

Everybody else? 

Not so much.

But these decisions need to be weighed with ample baseball knowledge and ruthless number crunching, which is why we turn to the always accurate Google Oracle to see whether or not these fellas are Hall of Fame worthy. (click on the images for a closer view)

Robin Ventura
robin ventura google.JPGWhen your one claim to fame is getting your a$s beat by a man old enough to be your father in what was probably the most embarrassing basebrawl of all time, no, you may not enter the Hall of Fame, sir.

Fred McGriff
fred mcgriff google.JPGInterestingly enough, the lesson in McGriff’s ‘instructional video’ is: how to vote Fred McGriff into the Hall of Fame.  Slick… but not slick enough.  No Hall of Fame for you, Crime Dog.

Roberto Alomar
roberto alomar google.JPGWell, unless there’s a Hall of Fame of AIDS then Robbie ain’t gettin’ in anywhere.

But please, somebody — baseball writers, Oprah, Jesus, anyone — please put Andre Dawson in the Hall of Fame.  He deserves to be there.  And I am getting very, very sick of having to lobby for this ex-Cub who made a living making my life miserable as a child. 

Buck up, fellas.  The Hawk was better than Jim Rice.

Hate me ‘cuz I tell it straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I”m right.

Peace,

Jeff

K.C.’s Comet

zack greinke.jpgLike Halley’s and Hale-Bopp, every great once in a while a comet will pass through the Kansas City Royal’s universe, causing the hapless west Missouri team to be relevant, if only briefly.

Such cases have been well documented: In 1985, Don Denkinger handed the World Series Championship directly to the Royals.  Some twenty years later, Hall of Famer George Brett revealed to the world his celebratory penchant for soiling himself.

And now, in 2009, Royals ace Zack Greinke hopes to snatch the Cy Young Award from big name, big money pitchers from big markets.

When Greinke wins on Tuesday it will be an historic event.  For the first time ever in the history of the franchise, the Royals will be relevant for something other than a bunch of s***.

And that, dear readers, is called crawling out of the gutter… where they will quickly return to on Wednesday.

Hate me ‘cuz I prey on the weak, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Go See Him While You Can, People

albert pujols red.jpg

Albert Pujols has played just nine Major League seasons and in each and every one of them he’s hit over 30 homeruns, collected more than 100 RBI and batted over .300.  Those aren’t just good numbers, folks.  Those are astronomical numbers.

And this is his best year yet.

I think it’s time we stop referring to Albert Pujols as the future Hall of Famer that he is — because let’s face it, if the man’s career ends today he’ll be a first ballot lock* — and start acknowledging that he is indeed one of the greatest players to ever play the game, all-time, in the history of the game.

mlb.com.screengrab.jpgCan we just stop and think about that for a minute?

In our present game, today, right this second, we are witnessing a rare and genuine paragon of baseball supremacy.

Stop — and — think — about — that.

My Dad saw Gibson. 

My Grandpa saw Musial.

And Albert will trump them both.

By a long shot.

I know it’s hard to understand while it’s happening.  I realize that, in most cases, we do not realize what great feats we are witnessing firsthand until it’s too late, until our heroes are lifted in the 7th for defensive replacements, until they’re embarking on sappy, over-produced farewell tours.

But right now we all have the opportunity to savor the greatness, to take it all in, to let it move us.

There are many beautiful women: Erin Andrews, Heidi Derosa, Allison Stokke… but none of them are Marilyn Monroe.

Great presidents abound in Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington; but there is only one Abraham Lincoln. 

Sure, Metallica is great and all but there’s only one Pink Floyd.

And yes.  There is only one Albert Pujols.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*As one reader pointed out, a player needs 10 years in the Majors before being eligible; consider my phrase a simple bout of hyperbole

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