Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

Fire Sales and Ball Busters

Since I am not the same erudite fount of loquaciousness as my friend Mr. Lung, I’m going to keep this brief. Really, all I have is two questions.

farnsworth cries.jpgNumber one, when did the Padres become the Florida Marlins? At least the Marlins won a couple championships before their fire sales. Seriously guys, Jake Peavy and Khalil Greene? I prefer to look on the bright side with this, though. What I’m hoping is that the Padres will decide to replenish by adding some dead weight from the Tigers. No more Trevor Hoffman? How about some Kyle Farnsworth in lieue? Too bad Renteria is already heading to San Fran or you could have him, too.

The other although no less important question is, how does a search for “wemen” in any form lead back to this blog? I’ll grant you that we talk a lot about women. Erin Andrews, Alison Stokke, Hillary Clinton. All three of these names receive a lot of press in the baseball/political forum that is RSBS. But wemen? I don’t know even know what that means.

gong_li.jpgNow, I have no answer for the first question although I hope that my scenario plays out because I really can’t stand the thought of Farnsworth coming out of the Detroit bullpen with tears in his eyes all next season. The second question needs a little more thought, though, mainly because of what these “wemen” are doing.

Why do people come here looking for men being hit in the balls? Granted, Jeff and I may bust each others’ balls from time to time but hitting them is another matter all together. That’s just wrong.

But the more important piece of this keyword search enigma is the “Attractive Chinese Wemen” aspect, namely, where are they and why was I not made aware of this? If there are attractive Chinese females being hidden within the RSBS universe, I feel I should be privy to this information. So, Mr. Lung, time to come clean, eh? No more secrets. Otherwise, I might have to send some of these “wemen” after your balls.

-A

Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned

china_olympic_torch.JPGEvery media outlet has been full of Olympic coverage for the past few months. We watched as French surrender-monkeys and dentally deficient Britons tried to tackle, steal or otherwise snuff the Olympic flame during its journey to the Bird’s Nest and then we saw the Chinese defy gravity to set the torch alight and begin the games.

Although the passing of the torch always seems to provoke strong emotions, these emotions tend to play out differently depending on the setting. When Jesse Owens overcame the Fuhrer’s supposedly invincible Aryan champions at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he tried to defuse the situation by saying that Hitler had shown him respect. Michael Phelps managed to show a touch of class this year as he overcame Mark Spitz’s decades old record.

But sometimes the old guard is reluctant to let the torch out of their grasp. When the Yankees had the Red Sox in a 3-0 stranglehold during the 2004 ALCS, it seemed that the old guys had a little life left in them. But they should have realized that they had used up all the gas in the tank during the previous year’s ALCS. The Yankees may have won that 2003 series but in reality, Pedro Martinez body-slamming Don Zimmer was emblematic of the rivalry’s not too distant future. And in 2004 they proved it by fighting back to win the ALCS and then the World Series.

bclinton_face_dnc.jpgA similar fight broke out during the primary season as the junior senator from Illinois took on the Clinton juggernaut. And when the dust finally settled at the Democratic National Convention last night, it was obvious that the party the Clinton’s created was now firmly in the hands of Sen. Obama. Sure, there were a few last grasps for the torch (Hillary’s non-concession speech back in June for example) but the look on former President Clinton’s face during Sen. Clinton’s speech Wednesday night told the whole story.

So, how does one pass the torch gracefully and not get burned in the process? Well, you could take a lesson from Ted Kennedy (2008 Ted Kennedy, not 1980 Ted Kennedy)

Or you could look to Richard Nixon who so graciously handed off to Gerald Ford in 1974. However, I suggest avoiding the example of the 1997 and 2003 Florida Marlins. Or Jay Mariotti. Burning bridges and fire sales are tacky even in the best of times.

-A

Time for a Major League Intervention

Josh Hamilton.jpgOkay, I’m through dancing around this touchy subject, folks.  I’m ready to face it and call it what it is: MLB is obsessed with “recovering” drug addicts and their attempts to get [back] into the big leagues.

If you’re like me (intelligent, charming, full of yourself) then you are decent enough to realize that yes, the Josh Hamilton story is important.  It proves that that we, as human beings, do have the ability to overcome adversity and reach the highest levels of success despite our shortcomings if we’re determined, disciplined, good hearted and humble.  That much is true.

However, when a player such as Josh Hamilton can no longer be recognized as anyone other than an ex/recovering junkie who just happens to be a successful baseball player, that’s when I have a problem. 

And the problem is growing…

Because now Major League Baseball, realizing that the Hamilton story may be losing some of its saleability due to overuse, is desperate to find its next “Josh Hamilton” in Marlins’ prospect Jeff Allison.

Jeff who?

Yeah, that’s what I thought too. 

And as we find ourselves down to the last six weeks of the regular season, where heated division races are made and/broken, where teams break away from the pack while others fade to black, MLB.com’s front page today ignored all of that and featured a prospect no one has ever heard of — solely because he’s a “recovering” drug addict — “like Josh Hamilton.”

jeff allison story.jpgDear readers, fear not, for I do not belittle the feats of these gentlemen in any way.  Honestly, having battled my own personal demons, like Hamilton and Allison, I am no stranger to overcoming the obstacles of addiction.  Indeed, I applaud them for their perseverance, their humility, their spirit.  They are not the ones to blame here.

We should be shaking a finger at Major League Baseball, the media and every other story-hungry leech out there who can’t see Hamilton (and now Allison) as anything but a story to sell. 

Google Hamilton’s name and see how many entries pop up that don’t mention his drug addiction.  Watch a Rangers game without hearing about Hamilton’s “incredible comeback”.  Bring up Hamilton’s name in any place in Anytown, USA and see what the discussion centers around.  His talent?  His numbers?  No. 

His drug habit.

That’s all you’ll hear.  That’s all anyone cares about.  But let me tell ya somethin’…

Addiction is not a character trait.

Addiction is not a reason to judge.

Addiction is a disease.  And just like leukemia, multiple sclerosis or pneumonia, this disease does not define the afflicted.  It is merely an obstacle: a hindrance to be overcome, defeated and moved passed but never one to ultimately define the character, the nature or the existence of the one who was chosen to endure its pain.

Don’t hate me, ‘cuz I couldn’t be any more right on this one.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Crying Game

Dear readers, I may not be a religious man (unless you call screaming “goddamn it!” at the television every time Tony LaRussa goes to the bullpen being religious); but I do believe that the world has a certain order to it — a general plan of well-being that should never be tampered with or questioned.  I may not like it, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s a reason why the Redbirds didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline.  There’s a reason why Kenny Williams kept Juan Uribe on the Southside.  There’s a reason why my counterpart, Allen Krause, is a bit delusional in his posts. 

Knowing this, I know I shall not dare test the waters of fate.

howard.wolfson.jpgSo that is why I’d like to offer Hillary Clinton Campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfson a great big RSBS “EAT IT! for his crybaby rumblings of heretical hindsight and coulda-shoulda-woulda politics. 

After Senator John Edwards’ extramarital affair became public late last week, Wolfson offered this statement:

“I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee [had Edwards’ affair been public at the time]…Our voters and Edwards’ voters were the same people… They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama.”

crybaby.jpgSure, Wolfie.  Sounds good.  Easy to say now even if it is just loosely based speculation.  Did you speak with all of the Iowa voters who cast ballots for Edwards?  Did all of those Edwards supporters contact you personally to tell you they voted for him but would’ve voted for Hillary if they knew Johnny was out fumbling with a lady who wasn’t his wife?  Really?  Is that how you got all of this inside information?  And what if you did win Iowa?  Obviously, that means you would’ve swept every other primary too, right?  No competition at all because winning Iowa makes you a lock to win the nomination?  Uh, excuse me… were you even watching the primary?  Uh… did you see how friggin’ close it was all the way to Puerto Rico? 

Mr. Wolfson, I’m afraid such staunch statements do absolutely no good for a Democratic party that already risks the perils of division simply because your people won’t get on the winning team in the fight to make a difference in November.  Referencing what could have happened if what happened didn’t happen doesn’t do a whole lot in the way of progression.  It just makes you look like a whiny sore losing crybaby who won’t be satisfied until he gets what he wants; but, as you, I and the rest of US America clearly see: that just ain’t gonna happen.

This puling rant reminds me of a certain Northside faction who — to this day — continue to put all the blame on a fan for their 2003 NLCS shortcomings rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.

This divisive tirade reminds me of a certain blogger (RSBS‘ very own Mr. Allen Krause) who — to this day — continues to put all the blame on the shoddy defense of the Tigers’ pitching staff for their 2006 World Series fall rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.

obama_whitesox.jpgThe ’03 Marlins, the ’06 Cardinals, the ’08 Obamasox…

Give credit where credit is due, people… and quit your whining.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Trading Deadline Blues

Farnsworth for Pudge? You’ve got to be kidding me. Although maybe the Tigers know something I don’t. I mean, that Jeff Weaver trade didn’t turn out so bad considering he totally tanked with the Yankees. But Farnsworth? When I was living in Chicago I used to watch him throwing BP. The only problem was that it was during the 7th inning of close games and that’s not a good time to be giving up round-trippers. But, maybe Dombrowski is ahead of the curve. Maybe he wants to put together a stable of the hardest throwing guys in the Major Leagues. But Farnsworth? Farnsworth is to baseball what this kid is to basketball:

 

What is it about the trading deadline that makes people crazy? Griffey is probably heading to the White Sox, Texeira is now an Angel, Manny might be a Marlin and Pudge will be wearing pinstripes. Everyone is making deals. Well, except for the Cardinals, of course. Sorry about that one, buddy. Maybe they’ll do something in the offseason and have a chance next year.

But I’d still rather my team did nothing than have to support a team that trades away an All-Star for a bad punchline. Yeah, Pudge is getting old and yeah, Pudge doesn’t hit like he did when he was on the juice. But Farnsworth? I just can’t accept this. The only way it could be worse is if I find out that he’s also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Rocket_Ismail.jpgSpeaking of which, there is one other specter that haunts me that Mr. Lung forgot to mention. And no, I don’t mean Arlen Specter although he is old and old people generally scare me. I mean another former Fighting Irish who still runs through my dreams. And runs is definitely the correct word since I’m talking about “Rocket” Raghib Ismail. Man, that guy caused as much heartburn in Michigan as the Big Three’s ongoing inability to make a profit. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was glad to see him go.

Anyway, I guess I should let this all go and just accept that Farnsworth is on the team through the end of the season. Maybe he’ll be great. And maybe Fernando Rodney won’t blow any more saves. And maybe Hillary will still get the nomination. Thank god I’ll only have to live with two out of those three things. And I can still go to my happy place.

-A

(more…)

The Filibuster

With the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros all over the 30 win mark at the end of May, when are the baseball pundits going to admit that the NL Central is actually one of the better, more exciting divisions to watch this season?  Must this love affair with all things New York continue while both teams are in the bottom of their respective divisions?”

–Jeff

                                                                                       

Mr. Lung, you are a bitter man. I respect that, being a bitter man myself. And I fully agree with you about the New York-ophilia that taints the world of sports journalism. However, bitterness will not change that.

Here’s the thing. Sports exist to make money. And sports journalism, being the leech that it is, flourishes in direct proportion to the events they cover. The National Spelling Bee became popular so now it takes over a primetime slot on ESPN. Three years ago it was on ESPN2 and 20 years ago (when I was competing in spelling bees) you couldn’t even dream of an event like that being shown live on television. So what does this have to do with the lack of love for the NL Central?

Everything. The networks go where the money is and the money is in NY, Boston and LA. The flyover states are, well, flyover states. It’s not in the interest of the writers and pundits to follow a team like the Cardinals because the people in their major markets won’t watch. There’s a reason that the networks were praying for a Celtics-Lakers NBA championship and it wasn’t just because they wanted to do a feature on how Kobe has rehabilitated his image. It’s the same reason why the entire world descended on Iowa in January and now couldn’t care less what happens in the Hawkeye state.

So, to answer your question here’s a very simple response. The baseball pundits are never going to admit that the NL Central is an exciting division. Just like they aren’t going to start showing the Rays or Marlins on Fox Saturday baseball. Well, unless they’re playing the Yankees or Mets, of course.

-A

The High Price of Fame

So Alex Rodriguez makes more money than the entire Florida
Marlins team
.  Must be pretty hard to
live up to such high expectations – especially in a bullying market like New York.  Until recently, I couldn’t even begin to
fathom what that kind of pressure is like.

…and then I (we, Allen Krause and I) became famous.

Sure, it all started out quietly, you know, like that hushing
wind that breezes across the plains accompanied by purple skies right before
the big storm.  So the Detroit Tigers/Hillary Clinton comparison I made was masterfully quoted on the MLB.com homepage – big deal.  Just doing my bloggin’ thang… fillin’ the role
I was meant to fill because all my sliders hung and I couldn’t get around on a
65 mph fastball.  Some are born to play
ball, some are born to rant on ball. 

And then it happened. 
At 5 a.m. this morning I got the call:

PHONE CALLER GUY: Hey, is this Jeff Lung?

ME: Yes.

PHONE CALLER GUY: Whoa, it’s really you?

ME:  Yes, it’s
me.  What do you want?  It’s 5 in the morning.

PHONE CALLER GUY: 
Wow, I can’t believe it’s really you.

ME:  Who are you and
what do you want!?!

PHONE CALLER GUY:  Your picture is on MLBlog’s homepage and I just wanted to pick your brain about what it’s like to be on the internet underneath Jose Reyes?

Life hasn’t been the same since.

I walked out of my Southside apartment this morning to a deluge of paparazzi.  I smiled and nodded, answered some
questions from my fans but I must be honest: it was tiresome, and I still have a day job, so I had to punch (WHAM!) one of them (one of the paparazzi, not one of my fans) to get away.  

29state.bus.jpg

On the 29/State bus it was the same: mobs of people begging
for my autograph, picture, a Jason Grilli ERA Watch report.  I obliged but I gotta admit, it was tiresome, overwhelming
and downright stressful.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time.  Tomorrow I am going to my first game of the year: White Sox
v. Tigers at the Joan.  Fearing more of the same mob
mentality from those who come within ten feet of my aura, I will do my best to ‘fit in’ tomorrow by wearing a disguise and I will certainly
not make any public statements.   I’m sorry, but even a guy like me needs a break once in a while. 

In fact, afterwards, I’ll probably have to go to Evanston — to take a breather and get away from it all.

So, while I’m relaxing, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m beautiful…or because I’m right.  Please?  Okay, pretty please?

Peace,

Jeffy

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