Results tagged ‘ New York ’
The Pittsburgh Pirates managed to lose a game the other day to a local
community college. Granted, it wasn’t their best players on the field
that day but they did still lose to a community college. Now, we’ve
spent a lot of time talking about the highlights we expect to see in
the upcoming season but what are some of the bloopers and sob stories
you are looking forward to as well?
The Pirates’ saving grace (after losing to a community college) is the fact that they themselves are a team better suited for the community college circuit. Boasting players most of us have never heard of like Nyjer Morgan, Brandon Moss and Ross Ohlendorf, is it any surprise that the perennial underachieving Buccos start the season picked to win a mind-blowing 65 games? I think not.
But as my sludge-dredging colleague, Mr. Krause, so coyly alludes to, this will be just one of the many “sob stories” we baseball fans are looking forward to in 2009. Now I am no soothsayer; nor am I blessed with magical powers allowing me to predict which gaffes and gripes will take centerstage this season; but let’s face it: some things are just a given. For example:
The Orioles and Blue Jays Will Simply Disappear
If they haven’t already, by the time we hit the month of May, I foresee that all relevance of baseball in Baltimore and Toronto will cease to exist. After a steady diet of Yankees, Red Sox and Rays is slammed down our throats, who will care that Brian Roberts is a shining star in a sea of apathy or that J.P. Ricciardi is single-handedly destroying what was once a proud baseball organization? No one. That’s who.
Cub Fans Will Be Whining About Something
They always do. They always will. They never stop. Whether it’s invoking the spirit of Cub castaway Steve Bartman, repeating ye ole circa 2003 mantra: “Prior and Wood, Prior and Wood, Prior and Wood” or just getting too drunk to know what’s actually going on during the game, Cub fans were born to lose. And in personifying their joyous moniker of “Lovable Losers”, they love to whine. Sure. They’ll win the division. How can they not? But they’ll find a way to blow it in the playoffs and we sane baseball folk will be subjected to yet another lengthy offseason of wouldas, couldas and shouldas — a century old Northside tradition.
Gary Sheffield Will Say Something Stupid
Happens every year, folks. He might even box someone too, that is, if he can find the strength to walk from homeplate all the way out to the mound. And if he plays in more than 114 games, there’s a good chance that he’ll add even more guts and gore to that Phillies/Mets rivalry we’ve all come to enjoy over the last few years. Sheff is certainly setup to give new meaning to the phrase “choke artist”. All Cole Hamels has to do is open his mouth.
Joba Chamberlain Will Try His Luck with Erin Andrews — Again — and Fail Miserably — Again
I know, I know. Ms. Andrews said it was nothing, but we saw the video (which has conveniently been erased from the entire interweb) and let’s face it: Joba struck out like Adam Dunn after an all-night bender. Having been in that situation myself, and being a guy, I think it’s safe to say Joba will go there again. Men are stupid. Ladies, am I right?
Yet looking into my crystal ball, dear readers, the one blooping gaffe that is bound to come up again and again this season is almost too easy to call:
Kyle Farnsworth Will Be the Laughingstock of Major League Baseball
They hated him in Chicago. They hated him in New York. They hated him in Detroit. If the Royals had any fans, they would hate him in Kansas City too. But at the end of the day, no one can deny that Farnsy has become the whipping boy of baseball sadists all across US America. When a kind-hearted She-Fan openly in love with her beloved Yankees rips the man to death in her best-selling book, it is safe to say that Kyle Farnsworth is and always will be fair game. He should’ve known better: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Hate me ‘cuz I can be an ^ss, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There’s an old nursery rhyme that goes:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so between them both, you see
They licked the platter clean!
Well, in a clear cut case of life imitating art, we have seen how this cultural touchstone transfers to our everyday lives. The fat that entranced Jack Sprat’s wife can be found all over the internet and it looks delicious. Meanwhile, the lean that caught Jack’s fancy has hit our bank accounts and 401k’s. From the increase in the unemployment rate to the drop in consumer spending, America hasn’t seen such lean times in decades. But luckily, in this drama the role of Jack Sprat’s wife is played by the Federal Government and she’s never seen a big ol’ plate of fat that she didn’t like. This is why we will soon be the proud owners of a $800 billion dollar stimulus package.
It would be nice if we could just blame this whole thing on one party or the other. It’s the Republicans’ fault for the past eight years of profligate spending and expensive foreign entanglements. Or the Democrats are responsible because they rammed a pork laden bill down the collective American gullet while paying mere lip service to the idea of bipartisanship. But, let’s call it like it is here. Pork, in all its many wonderful forms, is the American way.
That being said, this stimulus package is nothing when compared to the recent automobile and bank bailouts. The overall price tag on this one may be higher but at least there’s a legitimate goal. The bailout? Well, for you baseball fans, here’s an easy way to look at it. Let’s say you have a team, we’ll call them the New Pork Spankees, and they decide that things aren’t looking as rosy as they’d like. So, they tell the city of New Pork, “Look, things are kind of rough and the only thing that will help is if you build us a new stadium. You’re going to be on the hook for most of the costs but really, you owe us because we’ve been so good to you over the years. Here’s the thing, though. If you don’t do it, we’ll close up shop, maybe move someplace else and then where will you be?.” It’s like Congress telling the American people that we have to rescue Detroit but the taxpayers are going to have to pay for it because the automakers have been so good to America in the past. It’s time we payed our dues.
Inevitably, these two eerily similar bailouts end up helping certain special people (i.e. the owner of the Spankees or the auto executives) a lot more than they help the people who are footing the bill. It also doesn’t help when the real price of the package skyrockets as time wears on.
But what about all of us, the guys who are footing the bill? What do we get in return? Well, we get higher ticket prices, a sense of disenfranchisement and then we’re forced to watch our teams perform at some unacceptable level of status quo.
The difference between the Spankees and the American taxpayer, though, is that without some sort of package, the taxpayer is soon going to find his or herself standing in line outside the unemployment office. The city of New Pork? Well, they’ll just create their own bailout plan and float the costs on down the line to the taxpayer. Individualized gains, socialized losses but the same old story no matter where you look.
“My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.“
— Al Capone (1899-1947)
Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.
“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.“
— Al Capone
Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub. Now that’s clout! When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ’em who’s boss with that move. Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers. Yeah, take that. The Cubs got Gathright. Whoowee, watch out world!
But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there! No, the White Sox kept ’em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise!
And wait! There’s more…
New York, you think you had a crooked governor? Ha!
You hear that? He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois. Dying! See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them. No. They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood! BOO-YEAH!
Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE! Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again! Duh, my friends. Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes. The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago! We do things our way — the US American way!
“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
— Al Capone
Me too, dear readers.
Look, it’s true. I love Chicago. I really do. It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah.
And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:
Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.