Results tagged ‘ My Team(s) ’

Remember When…

Remember when…

The Pirates were a perennial losing franchise?

Remember when…

Bob Costas’ pretentious Olympian superlatives weren’t pretentious because they were about baseball, something the man truly loves?

Remember when…

I mocked Sarah Palin’s mocking of Obama’s proposed “hopey-change” politics?

Remember when…

Everyone discounted the Cardinals’ playoff hopes with three weeks left in the season?

Remember when…

The GOP wasn’t an absolute joke?

Remember when…

Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise was the greatest thing that ever happened in comic book film history? (WARNING: Major spoiler alert with that link)

Remember when…

NBC didn’t ruin every single sporting event it broadcasted?*

Remember when…

US American politicians really worked for the people?

Oh, wait.

Remember when…

Clint Hurdle was orange?

And remember when you didn’t hate me ‘cuz I was right?

Peace,

Jeff

*Not including the XFL, which was a brilliant endeavor, even if it was extremely stupid.

The Filibuster

Do you believe in the A’s?

Rick T. 
Springfield, MO

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Do I believe in the A’s?  Do I believe that a team called the A’s plays in Oakland, CA?  Yes, I believe that.  Do I believe that despite a limited budget and a small market, a team called the A’s not only contended in the early 2000′s but also outperformed most of the American League?  Yes, I believe that, too.  Do I believe that the 2012 Oakland Athletics, a team currently in 3rd place in its division behind a much improved Angels franchise and a Rangers club that when hitting on all cylinders can torch the rest of baseball, will make the playoffs?  Unfortunately I’m going to have go another direction with that one, Rick.

No, in that case I don’t believe in the A’s.

Let’s look at the facts.  The A’s pitching staff is 4th overall in ERA, 5th in WHIP and 5th in opponent batting average.  Those are all pretty good.  But, to win baseball games, you also have to score runs.  On that side, the A’s are 28th in runs, 27th in on-base percentage and 25th in slugging.  Pitching may win you championships but if you can’t back up that pitching, you’re never going to make it to the championship.  Add in that half of the rest of the A’s schedule is made up of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the Rangers and the Tigers, well, that doesn’t bode so well.  Even the easier part of the schedule involves the Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox.  About the only break the A’s get are series against the Mariners, Twins and Royals.  That’s not exactly promising.

I like the A’s.  I always have.  One of the fondest memories of my childhood was seeing the Tony LaRussa managed A’s at Tiger stadium.  But this team is light years away from being at the same level as the team that featured Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Dennis Eckersley.

So, do I believe in the A’s?  I guess on that one, you’d have to consider me an atheist.  If they keep winning games, though, check back in and maybe I’ll have gone agnostic.

-A

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Is There a Harper and Trout Remix?

I want to hate Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.  Maybe if they played for the Tigers I’d love them but two guys that young, that talented and that successful who aren’t on my team?  Honestly, I really want to dislike them.

With Trout it’s a little harder because somehow he comes across as a good guy and great teammate despite only being 20 years old.  Harper, it’s a little easier because he’s even younger, bro’ed out and he knows he’s good.  That kind of self-assuredness often comes off as cockiness and that makes it easier to hate someone.

Yeah, I really want to hate these guys, especially Harper, and I feel like I made an honest effort at it.  Sadly, it kind of went like this:

I can’t help it.  I’m hooked.

-A

The Filibuster

Any predictions for the All-Star Game?

Alice
Highland, IN

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I was all set to write a response about “King Bud” and how he had perverted the fun of the All-Star game.  But then I realized something.  The All-Star game still is fun and especially for the guys getting picked to go for the first time, it has to be an amazing experience.  Sure, the game counts now and in a way that doesn’t really make sense.  But that’s secondary.  These are arguably the best players in baseball split up into two squads going head to head.  That’s pretty awesome.

But even though this event is about leagues as opposed to teams, I can’t help being biased toward my own guys.  That’s why my predictions revolve around the Tigers.  (Please note that I’m writing this on Friday evening so anything that happens between now and Sunday, when it goes up, well, it can be held against me but not in an ignorant kind of fashion.)

Prediction #1: Justin Verlander starts the game for the AL

Sure, even Verlander himself has said that the start in this year’s game should be based on this year’s events.  Maybe he hasn’t been as dominant this year as he was in his 2011 campaign but I’m pretty sure there’s still no hitter in either league that enjoys the thought of going up against JV.  More than that, Verlander has been practically unhittable for NL opponents with the best outings of his career coming against the NL.  If you want to start the game out on the right foot, put JV on the mound.

Prediction #2: Prince Fielder wins the home run derby

The guy is a monster talent and a monster plain and simple.  He’s also starting to rediscover the form he had starting off the season as he settles in behind Cabrera.  Put it all together with the start at first base for the AL squad and you have a Fielder ready to explode.  He won’t set a new record but he’s going to win.

Prediction #3: Miguel Cabrera wins MVP

There’s a lot of amazing talent on this year’s rosters and no shortage of candidates for MVP.  But something inside of me says that this is Miggy’s year and he comes up huge.  I’m thinking a three-run home run to bring the AL back from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead.

Prediction #4: Mr. Lung disagrees with everything I just predicted

There are optimists.  There are pessimists.  And there’s Mr. Lung.  Mr. Lung’s goal in life is to take the opposite view on everything I say.  It’s a noble objective even if it does mean that Mr. Lung is wrong a good percentage of the time.  Seriously, woolen stirrup pants on Houston Astros?  I don’t like the Astros either but let’s just admit that breathable synthetics have been good for the game.  To be fair, I don’t think it’s so much about being right or wrong for Mr. Lung as it is about the act of disagreeing.  It’s rebellious.  You know, like listening to Marilyn Manson.

So, enjoy the All-Star break and pay attention to see how many of these predictions come true.  And if you catch one of Prince’s derby balls, feel free to send it my way.

-A
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The Filibuster

Whose side are you on?  Team Dusty or Team Derek?

Kenny
Batavia, IL

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It’s hard choosing sides sometimes.  Like, what do you do when you’re friends with both sides in a couple and the split is less than amicable?  Or when two 115-year old tortoises decide they can no longer live together, who gets to keep the cage and who has to move?  These are tough questions and it’s rare that anyone comes out of the situation feeling good.

The only difference is when you really can’t stand one of the two people.  Like, for instance, Dusty Baker.  This is the guy who is probably most responsible for destroying the careers of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.  The guy who almost let his young son get trampled during the 2002 World Series.  Derek Lowe?  I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about him.  But when a manager asks his pitcher to “brush back” the other team’s pitcher, well, that seems kind of odd.

The specifics of the situation are weird because there really aren’t any specifics.  It’s not like the tortoises where they just grew apart and then started biting each other.  That’s pretty black and white.  This is more of a “he said nothing, she said nothing” type of conflict where we have absolutely no idea what really happened.  And for whatever reason, although the two guys obviously can’t stand each other, neither one will come out and say what happened to lead up to this incident.

The biggest problem for me is that Lowe plays for the Indians and, as a Tigers’ fan, I really don’t care much for the Indians.  It’s kind of like if I had to choose between two friends who were splitting up and one of them was a Notre Dame fan.  That would seem to make the decision a little easier because I really don’t like Notre Dame.  However, when the second person is a loudmouth deadbeat who scratched a few of my DVDs and never even apologized for it, well, the Notre Dame thing doesn’t seem quite as bad anymore.  Team Dusty or Team Derek?  Put me firmly in Mr. Lowe’s column.  He never scratched any of my DVDs.

-A

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“I thought he was a weird wuss anyway…”

That’s right.  Davey Johnson speaks for me.

In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause.  Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.

Indeed, Verlander is a beast.  But the following inequality is true:

Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander

Unfortunately, the following is also true:

Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte

Ugh.

I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Bizarro Baseball

Bizarro baseball.  You know what it looks like.  No, not that bizarro baseballNor this one, though I do like the idea of a batless batsman.  The bizarro baseball I’m talkin’ about is the kind I was forced to watch Tuesday through Thursday of this week.

My DirectTV Extra Innings and MLB.TV packages both blackout my home team St. Louis Cardinals’ television broadcast streams when they are playing in my home market (I happen to live on the south side of Chicago).  And while I have become quite used to watching the Cubs’ broadcasts whenever they play the Cardinals, for the first time since I moved to the Chi, I had to endure the cliched, logorrheic tomfoolery of one Hawk Harrelson whilst watching my favorite ballclub play.

Of course, as a longtime neighborhood White Sox supporter, I have withstood many a Hawk-infested baseball game; so this was nothing new to me.  But in the past I’ve always been able to leave the game knowing “whew, at least that guy isn’t callin’ my teams’ games!”

Plus, his shenanigans don’t seem quite as cute when YOUR team is the “bad guys”.

But that’s why we have the mute button.  And M.O.P.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

A Rewarding Venture

Apparently, we’ve been going at the problem all wrong.  No, I’m not talking about the Tigers’ inability to hit baseballs to the spaces where opposing teams’ fielders are not.  I’m talking about the quag… quagmi…. quagmi…. really bad situation that is Afghanistan.

See, while we’ve been pushing education for women, community policing and other counter-insurgency tactics, the guys we’re trying to turn them against do stuff like this.  Sure, we do attack with drones and stuff like that but we don’t poison little girls…which would make you think that the rest of the people would run straight into the wide-open arms of Uncle Sam.  But, not so much.

However, there may be another option.  It turns out that maybe we just need to offer more reward money.  I just wish we would have known earlier.  We could have stopped up bin Laden’s finances and then just waited until he turned himself in to collect the award.

-A

Anaheim Albert ang I Are Juss Having Fung, Mang

The Twittersphere is a strange place.  It can be as welcoming as it is alienating, as terrifying as it is hilarious.  But just like anything else on the interwebs, it is what you make of it.

Over the years, I have fawned over several accounts in order to make SUPER-HAPPY-FUN TIME.  Coco Crisp’s was golden.  Barry Zito’s was embarrassing (before he blocked me from talking to him).  And I’ve probably cried more laughing at the hilarity of Fake Ned Yost than I have all the times I’ve watched Braveheart combined (stop judging me).

But these days there’s a new mang in town (somewhere along I-5 between Los Anaheim and Orange Angeles County).

BEHOLD: ANAHEIM ALBERT!

He waxes on performance:

Compares himself to others:

And provides sultry details to his odd albeit professional relationship with his agent Dan Lozano:

Extra mad points for that Scott Spiezio reference.  He’s another man whose heroics are shared by both Halos fans and Redbird Nation.

Speaking of Spiezio, where’s my scotch… and the strippers???  ALBERT!!!!

Hate me ‘cuz I made you L-O-L, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Worst. Day. EVER.

The next time you’re late for work, spill coffee on your khakis and then get rejected by the hot gal at your local bakery, just remember: life could always be worse.

You could be a delusional sexist homophobe.  Or, you could be A.J. Burnett.

Equally terrifying, I know.

But it just doesn’t get much worse than A.J.’s lackluster performance from Wednesday night.  In fact, in the entire history of Major League Baseball, it was the single worst start by a pitcher since 1929 as Burnett was lit up by the Cardinals for 12 hits and 12 earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

Apparently the tanning bed has made Clint Hurdle officially “stupid”.

But today is Friday, folks, and I don’t wanna release you for the weekend all depressed, so when that worst day ever does choose you as its next victim, make sure you watch the below video to remind you of the BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!

Happy Friday!

Jeff

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