Results tagged ‘ Mark McGwire ’

White Like Me

sammy sosa is white.jpgYep.  This is pretty weird.  And I bet you are wondering what exactly is going on. 

So are we.

That’s why, once again, we pitted our trusty RSBS interns to the task of discovering why Sammy Sosa is turning white.  After toiling for about twenty minutes, here is the shortlist of what they found:

  • Ran out of shower gel, bleach does a good job, life is rough in the D.R.
  • Wants to be remembered as a member of the White Sox; this is a good way to make that happen
  • Saw the ghost of Sammy past (circa 1989)
  • Planning a trip to the Northside of Chicago and doesn’t want to be recognized. Why? Urine Trough Diving. That’s why.
  • Combine Oxandrolone with Dignotamoxi add a little Methyltestosterone and BAM! You’re WHITE!
  • Sun bathing below the equator has a reverse tan affect, much like eating after midnight turns you into a Gremlin
  • The white skin came free with the Humphrey Bogart toupee package
  • Tired of living in the shadow of Mark McGwire, hopes being brighter will help him stand out while still stuck in the shadow of Mark McGwire
  • Took a look at the man in the mirror and decided to make that change
  • Sick of seeing Karl Rove have all the fun

Skin rejuvenation?  More like how could you make your image more of an abomination!

Hm.  Sounds better when I read that last sentence out loud.

Nevermind.

Just don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Ruminations on Perfection

parker_bohn.jpg

Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)

But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.

The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.

Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.

mark_buehrle_no_hitter.jpg

But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it. 

Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.

-A

The Filibuster

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pujolsandlidge.jpgIt’s recently occurred to me that Albert [Pujols] is on pace to challenge Maris’
single season HR mark.  If he does this he becomes the first player NOT
implicated in steroids or other PED’s to do so.  Should baseball make a
bigger deal out of this?  I kind of doubt MLB would (it would look like
they were admitting Bonds and Sosa’s and McGwire’s big home run years
were illegitimate), but baseball fans should be rejoicing in what has
quietly become a potentially historic season.
Your thoughts?

Ted
Chicago, IL
__________________________________________

As arrogant and scapegoating as MLB’s front offices are,  we would be much better off betting our 401k’s that Sarah Palin will become the next president than we would on MLB making any mention of this highly inconvenient fact.  But that does not mean we, the fans, and other knowledgeable folks can’t start stirring up some serious crap.

And who shall be our leader in this sanctimonious crusade?

bob costas.jpgBob Friggin’ Costas.

For those of you who tuned into the MLB Network on Thursday night to watch the Mets get blown out by the Dodgers, you already know what I’m talking about.  For the rest of you, let me fill you in…

Inspired by the overhyped drama of Manny’s first series in New York after his embarrassing steroid reveal, Bob Costas came out to his colleague Jim Kaat and declared that McGwire’s record, Bonds’ record and the rest of those monumentally tainted blips of prestige could be thrown out and dismissed entirely by any Joe Fan — any human being capable of understanding how marred the game had become during the ‘steroid era’ — and that according to such logical folks, Roger Maris’ 61 and Hank Aaron’s 755 still stood as the true records — the unclouded, inarguable, uncontested homerun records of Major League Baseball.

MLB won’t ever tell you anything like that.

Bob Costas will.

And did.

Is it fair to knock Major League Baseball for doing what is really the only logical thing they can do given the circumstances?  No.  Probably not. 

But fair is a relative concept — one no one (including me, I admit) had the balls to contest when guys like Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro and Paul Lo Duca were raking dingers like I chug Bud Light on the weekends.

Still, as a lowly MLBlogger, I adhere to my spawning necessity to stir up a bunch of crap for no good reason, hoping someone will actually take notice, even if I do contradict my own penned tirades from time to time.

But, Ted, let me tell ya, I’m rejoicing, man.  And in my world, Roger Maris is at the top (except for that one moment back in ’98 when McGwire took Steve Trachsel deep at Busch II) and Hank Aaron is tops too because I simply cannot stand Barry Bonds, his runaway forehead, or his smug crybaby I’m-the-victim routine.

Alleluia!

I’m a US American!  It’s in my blood to flip-flop; it’s in yours too and you know it. 

So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m a greasy s***talker, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Pictures of a scantily clad Courtney Cox circa 1998 also welcome.

Stirring Up Crap

pudding.jpgIn recent weeks, much ado has been made about the ongoing interweb scuffle between bloggers and “real” journalists.  From JRod’s mental wanderings on Raul Ibanez to Geoff Baker’s self-serving opus dei to Hugging Harold Reynoldspublic flaying of Jay Mariotti, everyone seems to be getting in on the controversy — creating it even.

I’m sure JRod is pretty pleased, if for nothing else than for being noticed (albeit harshly).  As sports bloggers, isn’t that all we really want?  To be noticed? 

Apparently, this is the best way to go.  Stir up some real crap.

So I’m gonna.

The following are very, very, very TRUE:

  • Vegetarian or not, Prince Fielder is fat
  • In my “fantasies”, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols always fan me with palm tree leaves from the side while I… y’know, do my thing
  • The color orange is on steroids!!!!
  • Rush Limbaugh is also fat… and annoying
  • Babe Ruth was only awesome because he had to overcome and compensate for the fact that he had a girl’s last name (and breasts)
  • Barack Obama is a smoker. Deal with it, yo!
  • Bud Selig is as good at being commissioner of baseball as the Washington Nationals are at being champions of baseball
  • I spent a lot of money on Cardinals games during the summer of 1998, in awe of Mark McGwire, realizing that something fishy might be going on, but, like you, didn’t care that much about it ‘cuz it was friggin’ awesome. Like Selig, I too, looked the other way; but I would still make a much better commissioner of baseball than he because this All-Star Game’s “this time it counts” thing is absolutely ridiculous.
  • Our earth is flat; gravity is just some bulls*** made up by Communists
  • Manny Ramirez is Predator… and a cheater and annoying; but in a few days no one will remember that he got popped for taking a banned substance… and just in case you’re wondering, no, Manny is not fat — just big-haired.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m a fire-starter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Get Your Own League

roid rage.jpgIn 2001, the king of crap conglomerates and no-holds-barred entrepreneurship, Vince McMahon, teamed up with NBC to create a new world order football league deftly named the XFL.  The league featured ‘roid-raging castaways with unfettered guts and brawn who considered the actual rules of the game nothing more than a bothersome set of circumstances meant to be ignored – all in the holy name of entertainment.

Personally, I have had enough of the steroid scandal in baseball; and in an effort of compromise between giving the fans what they want and keeping Major League Baseball clean, I propose we gather up all the Mannys, Barrys, Alexes and Marks, give them to Vince McMahon, throw a ton of money at marketing and licensing and let them hit the hell out of the ball all they want in a rule-breaking utopia known as the XBL.

No drug tests.  No suspensions.  No questions.

Period.

And who better to get this league off the ground than Rafael “What the Heck Is Stanozolol Anyway” Palmeiro?

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

A-Rod at the Plate

arod at the bat.jpgI remember listening to NPR while driving to work one spring morning and hearing a wonderful rendition of the famous poem, Casey at the Bat. It was read by James Earl Jones and the recitation was accompanied by some orchestra. Sure enough, it was Opening Day and it felt like the perfect way to start the baseball season.

But that was a different time. That was spring of 2002 when maybe we weren’t quite as naive as we had been but we were far enough removed from the strike and still unaware of the steroid scandal. I’m afraid that if I were to tune in my radio on Opening Day this year, the poem would be quite a bit shorter and might go something like this:

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for most baseball fans that day;
Canseco had become a sage with allegations of tainted play,
And when McGwire admitted using, and knowing Bonds had done the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought with optimism that was waning as of late,
“The game might still have purity now, with A-Rod at the plate.”

But, the sneer has fled from A-Rod’s lip, the eyes are filled with tears;
He sports a shirt and sweater as his soul to us he bares.
And now Gammons forms the question, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of A-Rod’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in baseball — mighty A-Rod has struck out.

Only this time it’s not just the Mudville nine that lose. It’s all of us.

-A

This is not about Rickey Henderson

trammell and whitaker.jpgYou know, I could sit here and cry about how my favorite player from my childhood is on the Hall of Fame ballot but won’t make it in just like my friend Mr. Lung. And the thing is, I really could. I mean, not only did Alan Trammell play for one of the best Tigers’ teams ever back in ’84, he also has the same first name as me(!), even if he does spell it incorrectly. But, it’s just not in me.

It really all comes down to what Mark at MLBlogs had to say, “These plaques go next to those of
Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Walter Johnson, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial.” As much as I loved watching Trammell at shortstop, turning those sweet double plays with Lou Whitaker and as great as his ’83 and ’84 seasons were, I can’t really say that he belongs next to those names.

Now, I’ll admit that it’s a little more difficult to say the same thing about McGwire. Even if he is a juiced up steroid junkie who probably can’t touch his hands together over his head, he was exciting to watch. More than that, McGwire rewrote the record books until Barry Bonds came along and really started flexing his PED-built muscles. And like Mr. Lung says, there are definitely some incorrigible characters in the Hall.

However, the one thing you don’t see in the Hall are cheaters. Shoeless Joe Jackson has the third highest career batting average in the majors but you won’t see his name in Cooperstown. Same goes for Pete Rose even if it is the result of something that didn’t happen on the field. If you’re going to bar these guys and their amazing records, I don’t have a problem with keeping Mr. McGwire out, too.

bud selig ear.jpgThis whole debate is ridiculous, though. We all know that Rose should be in the Hall and, even if he was a cheat, there’s no dismissing McGwire’s ability and contribution to the game of baseball. In the end, it’s just sad that a no-talent ^ss-clown like Michael Bolton, uh, I mean Bud Selig should be able to keep people from even coming up for a vote. Let Rose on the list and then let the sportswriters decide if he merits entry. Same goes for Bonds when he becomes eligible. The Hall of Fame does not exist to serve the whims of the Commissioner. It’s there so that fans can celebrate the greatest players to ever step on a baseball diamond. That means you, Rose. You too, McGwire. And what the hell, get on in there, Bonds.

-A

No-Brainers Made Complicated: Now It’s the ‘Norm

mark mcgwire celebration.jpgI’m sorry, but did the National Bureau of Economic Research just inform me and myriad dear readers, that indeed the United States of America’s economy is in a (daresay) recession?

Duh!

I beg your pardon, but did our Dear Leader, in an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, admit his own incompetency by saying “I think I was unprepared for war”?

Doh!

As if the mass exodus of once-successful business owners to the overcrowded unemployment line in my Southside Chicago neighborhood wasn’t reason enough to believe.  As if the tense gazes of disgust from world leaders and record low approval rating during Bush II wasn’t enough reason to believe.  Well, folks, believe it; and believe that the spindoctors are just going to keep getting more and more convoluted as they assume we US Americans are as dumb as they are obvious.

Because apparently, the new status quo put forth by those in power has regressed to that of an unnecessary complication of issues that should otherwise be clear as day.

This has never been more true as we go into the third year of Mark McGwire Hall of Fame eligibility, where once again, I predict the baseball writers will find it in themselves to be a group of holier-than-thou judgmental jack^sses who consistently confuse clarity with integrity.

Did McGwire use performance enhancing drugs?  Maybe.  Probably.  We don’t know for sure and we never will.

Did McGwire’s awkward Capitol Hill exchange further damage his image and cause us to question his character?  Yes.  Definitely.

Should it matter when considering him for the Hall of Fame?

Hell no.

Hands down, Mark McGwire should have been a first-time ballot Hall of Famer.  His numbers, his performance, his legacy and the positive impact he had on the game alone should have put him in on the first try. 

While I dare not minimize the damaging stain PEDs have left on the game of baseball as well as the youth of our nation, I still believe in the democratic principle of one being “innocent until proven guilty” and until someone proves that McGwire broke the rules, he deserves to be remembered as a Hall of Famer.

Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson… sure, waffle on those guys.  They deserve to be waffled on a bit because they’re not stand-out no-brainer players.  But McGwire?  Give me a break.  Give him a break.

And beware, for Barry Bonds will soon be in line for the same retrospection.  Look, as much as I dislike the man as a human being, I cannot conceive a Hall of Fame without Barry Bonds’ plaque.  Baseball writers, your job is not to teach lessons to suspected bad boys.  Your job is to reward players for having Hall of Fame careers despite their antics — whatever and as displeasing as they may be.  Remember, Ty Cobb, arguably one of the most disgustingly erratic, singly detrimental members of the entire human race, is rightfully in the Hall of Fame.

Get over yourselves, writers.  You’re not judges.  You’re not the police.  You’re not God(s).

Do the right thing and put Mark McGwire in the Hall of Fame.  And while you’re doing that, prepare for the barrage of suspect PED users, headlined by one Barry Bonds, who will soon be eligible for HOF consideration.

The world will be watching and I will be quick to slander. 

So yeah, go ahead and hate me; I only ask that you don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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