Results tagged ‘ Scott Boras ’

Words, Words, Words

shakespeare.jpg“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
                              — Everyone’s Mother

How very un-American our mothers are!

Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American.  Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis.  (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)

Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about.  And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals: 

Curt Schilling
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays.  Okay.  Fair enough, Curt.  You are a gamer.  You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level.  Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for?  And why the ultimatum for those two teams?  Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs?  This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.

jabba the hut.jpgRush Limbaugh
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.”  I do not think anyone would have a problem with that.  The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that.  He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”

Go eat yourself to death, Rush.

steve phillips.jpgSteve Phillips
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts.  In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it.  But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing.  He said:

“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”

Hmm.  Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one.  Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.

Coo-koo!

Rod Blagojevich
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book!  Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know.  Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say.  From my vantage point, that ain’t happening.  We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders.  Big difference.

Ryan Dempster
I know, I know.  Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet.  But he will.  That is what he does.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season.  That is classy.  No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy.  Believe that.  

I Believe in Manny Ramirez

harvey-dent-believe-350w.jpgMy favorite movie of the year so far is “The Dark Knight.” I could wax rhapsodic about this movie for hours (and have) because it encompasses the tension, debate and ambivalence swirling in the atmosphere surrounding the United States these days. However, the one quote from the movie that really stuck with me is when Harvey Dent says, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” The funny thing is that this sentiment is just as true in baseball as it is in Gotham City’s political arena.

This season saw the return of Jim Edmonds to the Midwest but probably not in the colors people expected him to wear. And I’m sure the Cardinals faithful, like my friend Mr. Lung, wished for a moment that he would have either retired or suffered some fate that would have kept him off the diamond as opposed to watching him run onto the field at Busch Stadium wearing Cubbie blue.

I’d bet it’s the same way Red Sox fans feel when they see a well-scrubbed Johnny Damon patrolling center field in the Bronx. Let’s be honest, the age of free-agency (and especially the Faustian machinations of Scott Boras) has not been kind to baseball fans. No sooner have you purchased your CC Sabbathia Milwaukee Brewers jersey then he’s shipping out to the east coast and the Steinbrenners’ warm embrace.

However, all this is nothing compared to the uproar if and when Manny signs with the Yankees. Yeah, he may have dogged it in Boston to secure a trade. He may have pushed around old men while he was there, too. But can you really imagine Manny in Yankee pinstripes? Even talking about it sounds kind of dirty. But that’s how it works today. One day a Cardinal, the next a Cub. Heart of the Red Sox in 2006, soul of the Yankees in 2008.

So what’s a baseball fan to do? How do you accept it when the guy who is the face of your franchise leaves for greener pastures? How do you not see the old hero you loved as the Benedict Arnold he has become? Well, it turns out that there’s one other movie franchise that reflects the world around us almost as well as Batman. And earlier this year in “Quantum of Solace” one of Mr. Bond’s associates said it best: “When one’s younger, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and
wrong. But as one gets older, it becomes more difficult… the villains
and the heroes get all mixed up
.” It’s fitting that Bond would add nuance to a formerly black and white world. Still, that isn’t going to get me any money back on that Ivan Rodriguez Tigers jersey.

-A

Yankees Broaden Scouting Map

Initial scouting report:

Good velocity.  Decent movement.  Has control issues.

Temper is sporadic but fixable.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,
Jeffy

A Break from All That “Inside Baseball Stuff”

Guess what.

I’m baaaack.

Indeed, after that long and winding baseball-politico season and the ominousness of losing every dime I’ve ever saved due to the current worldwide economic crisis, I deserved a damn vacation.

And vacation I did.

1108081731a_01.jpgI turned off the phone.  Eschewed the interweb.  Relaxed under the sun.  Got tan.  And I did it with family — Lung Family Reunion style. 

Which reminds me, don’t you just hate when you meet the perfect girl and you hit it off right away — so much so that you spend the entire day with her into the evening through the night and find out the next day that she’s your cousin? 

Happens to me every year.

But that’s not what I want to focus on today.  No.  You see, dear readers, while on my vacation, I missed out on some very important happenings: like Gov. Sarah Palin‘s adamant cry to NBC’s Matt Lauer that during the campaign she never got involved with that “inside baseball stuff” that supposedly divided her camp from Sen. McCain’s. 

Look, I don’t even pretend to know what she meant by calling it “inside baseball stuff” seeing how it had absolutely nothing to do with baseball; however, I can appreciate her obviously sentimental regard for greatest game on earth and implying that indeed, it’s complicated.

Because it is. 

The coast is clear now, but how is it that the Cardinals were even considering a trade for Matt Holliday?  A trade that would send away at least two (maybe more) of our most talented youngsters and leave us with a one-year rental of a player represented by Scott Boras?  Has John Mozeliak officially lost his friggin’ mind? 

The answer to that question is yes and I’m quite sure we St. Louis fans haven’t even seen the beginning of it.  Stock up on the painkillers, folks; 2009 could be a long one.

And how is it that Lou Piniella received the Manager of the Year Award?  Don’t get me wrong:  I have nothing but respect for Sweet Lou and I admire his guile, but this year he did what he was supposed to do (sorta) which was manage an extremely talented, high-priced ball-club to a winning season.  That’s like me getting rewarded for drinking beer and watching football on Sundays.  That’s what I do, people!

The Cubs were on cruise control all season until October and Lou didn’t have to work nearly as hard as the likes of Tony LaRussa or Joe Torre to get the job done with less talent. 

The one thing Lou was supposed to do this year (win playoff games) never happened.  I see that as one thing and one thing only: failure.  F-A-I-L-U-R-E.

On the other side of the Second City (my side), complications arise with Jermaine Dye and his future in a White Sox uniform.  Rumor is: Kenny Williams wants to get some fresh legs in exchange for the veteran outfielder who had a resurgent season in 2008.  I understand Williams’ point of view, but I’m pretty sure there will be rioting in the streets if Dye is traded away.  Even more rioting if Big Fat Bobby Jenks is dealt (which is also floating around the rumormill).

Just let me know if and when that’s going to happen, Kenny, because I’ll make sure to be back in South Padre until the Southside firebombing lets up.

I suppose Gov. Palin was right.  This “inside baseball stuff” is complicated.  And I gotta hand it to the Republicans.  They ran a good laughable race.  And the tides seem to be turning for the GOP: Mark Foley, while still making excuses for his pedophilia, is at least speaking to the media again; Alaska has more problems than just Palinmania; and Norm Coleman has a 209 vote lead (as I write this).

Like my boy Tupac used to always say: “Ya gotta keep ya head up.”

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

Michael Phelps and a few other American athletes have voluntarily
submitted to a higher level of drug testing in an attempt to head off
any questions about their impressive victories. If the US Olympic team
can do this, why hasn’t baseball taken similar steps to get rid of the
drug stigma surrounding the game today?

– Allen
                                                                                     

human_growth_hormone.jpgIn a way, Major League Baseball, behind the leadership of Bud Selig and an overwhelmingly grumpy push from the US Government, has taken similar steps to get rid of the drug stigma, Mr. Krause.  I’m not sure if you heard about it this past winter, but the Mitchell Report made quite a stir all over the baseball cosmos, and got a great number of ballplayers thinking “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t put this crap in my body anymore.”

While the drug screening program in baseball is still somewhat lax and random in its procedure, it is still light years better than what it was (non-existent) and does an adequate job by simply scaring people into doing the right thing.  This is progress that at one time seemed improbable.  Why?  Because the don’t-ask-don’t-tell secret of performance enhancing drugs was bringing people to the ballpark.  Whether it was the greenies of the 70s or the HGH of the 90s, fans were coming out to games in droves to witness the high octane occurrence of homeruns and 100 mph fastballs.  You’ve said it here a million times, Mr. Krause, money is what makes the world go round and if shooting up brings it in then so be it.

Unfortunately, we US Americans sometimes have a conscious; and that’s the only reason why this phase has transitioned to a foreseeable end.

Are players still using PEDs?  Probably.  Are they using them as much as they used to?  No.  Not at all.  Need proof?  How about Richie Sexson, Eric Gagne, Paul Lo Duca just for starters.  These guys are mere shadows of what they used to be while on the juice; because of that, I’m convinced that the biggest proverbial battles have already been fought and won.

Could more be done to ensure the sanctity of the game?  Probably.

Will a more stringent array of tests similar to those of Olympians Michael Phelps and Dara Torres (both voluntarily) ever be instituted in Major League Baseball?  I doubt it.

And here’s why: Player’s Union, Agents, Club Owners, the Players themselves.  Try to get anything past these guys that could theoretically threaten profits and you’ll quickly realize you’re dealing with a much higher power than voluntary amateur athletes who compete for a friggin’ medal that everyone will forget about two months from now.

The difference between asking Michael Phelps to take a rigorous amount of drug tests to prove his purity and asking Manny Ramirez to do the same can be summed up in two words: Scott Boras. 

scott_boras.jpgBoras, evil incarnate, who single-handedly changed sports forever, will hunt down your children, cut off their heads and sell them to Colombian witchdoctors if it means he’ll get 10%.  I guarantee you, if Boras represented Phelps (which would never happen whilst Phelps maintains amateur status), Andrea Kramer would be lucky if Phelps even acknowledged her existence after winning 8 gold medals.

Money.  Money money money money money.  Money.  Money money money money.  Money.  Money money MONEY!

Of course, public relations and digesting the fact that hardworking US Americans actually do want to be assured that their national pastime isn’t being abused both factor into MLB’s stricter regulations; but MLB and its myriad components, from the owners to the players to Joe Blow who spent $48.50 of his paycheck to sit in the upper deck, will continue to do whatever they have to to straddle the precarious line between profit and purity. 

It hasn’t been perfected in politics (see Bill Clinton, the Kennedy’s, John Edwards) yet, so it’s no surprise that baseball hasn’t a clue either. 

I’m just glad that I can go to sleep at night knowing that I am PED free.  A bulging forehead, weak libido and distending testicles wouldn’t be good for my image.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

So, Manny is a Dodger? The entire world was sure he was heading
south but now he has joined an already cramped outfield in L.A. And, as if that wasn’t enough, he has joined Joe Torre and Nomar out there! The
question is, will Manny being Manny fly in Tinseltown and can you think of
any other stranger storylines in the last few years?

– Allen
                                                                                     

mannyRamirez.silohuette.jpgAh, yes, the infamous Manny-being-Manny question.  Will it fly?  Will he be accepted by his new manager and teammates?  To find out, I shook my Magic 8 Ball and it replied: “All signs point to yes”.

But I already knew that to be the answer.

Admittedly, Manny Ramirez looks quite odd in Dodger blue; but I have to remind myself, Manny Ramirez looks odd in any uniform.  He is an absolute nutcase reminiscent of one Space Man Bill Lee — an individual who goes out of his way to be quirky, weird, individualistic.  I think Manny is inherently incapable of being anything other than an escalating characterization of himself.

And the fans love it — always have.  That is why, as the years go by, his antics become more and more documented, loved, embraced.  This is the man who forgot to cash a million dollar check that the Indians wrote him for his services because he didn’t have time to go to the bank.  This is the man who lolly-gags in left field and is revered for it.  This is the man who David Ortiz labeled as: “One crazy mother-(bleep)”.

Will it be weird seeing him next to Joe Torre and Nomar Garciaparra in the dugout?  Sure.  Will it be weird seeing Manny sitting next to anyone in the dugout?  Absolutely.  The man is a magnet for oddity — from high-fiving fans while making a play to writing signs expressing his desire to move to Green Bay, anything Manny does is just plain weird.  Because of this, I think he is a perfect fit for the Dodgers and their organization.

Having lived in L.A. for a stretch, I can vouch for the oddity of their fans.  Infamously, Dodger fans show up to the game late and leave early.  In their defense, yes, traffic is rough in L.A., but it wouldn’t take much to plan for such inconveniences so one could show up by first pitch.  And it’s sad to watch the mass exodus of fans heading for the freeway during the 7th inning stretch.  Such collective disregard comes off as arrogant — a stigma I feel covers all L.A. sports teams.  Like going to a Lakers game, it’s a place to be seen.

alyssa.milano.dodgers.jpgSo, given the mediocre-to-lukewarm state of Dodger fandom, will Manny being Manny fly in Tinseltown?  I don’t see why not.  They love Jeff Kent and he’s a complete ^sshole.  But to make sure, I decided to check in with the ultimate Dodger fan, the barometer for all things Dodger blue, the lovely, expressive, illuminating Alyssa Milano.  On her MLBlog, she wrote a nice piece on Manny, which clearly shows that they (Dodger fans) will accept whatever strange occurrences may come with his acquisition.  I only hope that there are plenty to speak of by the end of the year, because I don’t think Manny will be in Hollywood after the end of the season; the evil plottings of Scott Boras will see to that.

Strange a story as this is, is it really that strange when it’s all said and done?  No.  Not really.  Manny has been crying this same game for years; it was only a matter of time before it happened.  There have been stranger storylines this year:

I Used to Smoke Crack but Now I Smoke Fastballs: The Josh Hamilton Story

I Could’ve Tagged Two Guys Out at the Plate on the Same Play but Dropped the Ball: The Ramon Castro Story

I Threw Five Wild Pitches in a Playoff Game and Now I’m a Rock-Star Centerfielder: The Rick Ankiel Story

But no story has been stranger than this made-for-TV minor league drama in which an unsuspecting, cute ballgirl makes the play of a lifetime, giving the likes of Spider Man and Endy Chavez a run for their money:

Take it or leave it folks, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Moral Quandary III: The Barry Zito Story

barry_zito.jpgPoor Barry Zito.  People are really tearing him apart — as is expected because he has been awful – but sometimes the human in me can’t help but empathize.  Despite my sympathies, Bochy’s plan is to yank him from the rotation and send him to the bullpen so he can ‘work things out’.

If I’m Barry Zito, I’m loving this. 

How great would it be if I went to work tomorrow and my boss said: “Jeff, you’re doing a lousy job, so we’re going to allow you to not work so hard, lighten your stress, workload, etc. so you only have to work every couple of days or so in non-pressure situations.  Oh, and don’t worry, we’ll still pay you the salary you get paid now.”

Eureka!  Sign me up, Boss!  I’ll show up and sit on my ^ss for the first two thirds of the work day, practice making shaving cream pies and chew on sunflower seeds.  Just holler when you need me and make sure that the money is still in the bank. 

Yes, I’m being silly.  I know that Zito probably hates Zito’s performance more than anyone else ever could.  But honestly, I wish things were so “awful” in my life that I got a guaranteed 100 million dollars coming my way whether I do good work ever again or not. 

Though I previously alluded to a theory that Zito’s poor performance is perhaps rooted in his propensity for courting high-profile, high-maintenance divas, I am beginning to wonder if this isn’t just another deserved consequence of dealing with the Devil himself (in this case, the Devil is Scott Boras, not Ann Coulter, though she is still the Devil too).  Seven years and $126 million?  That’s a lot of dough.  Yet Major League teams are still willing to take on (and pay for) the inherent risks associated with any Scott Boras deal.  The J.D. Drews, Adrian Beltres and Carlos Beltrans of the world have been laughing all the way to the bank while not really living up to expectations, or their contracts.  So it seems that Zito may just be another chapter in this ongoing saga of moral quandaries teams face when dealing with the Devil.  I wonder if Boras represents Chinese speaking white dudes with an affinity for Asian antiquities?

On a lighter note, to quell the idea that I am a blatant misogynist proposed by a recent nameless commenter on a previous post, let me just say that, for me, it was hard not to notice that Zito’s troubles started shortly after his frolic with Lizzie McGuire.  I’m a guy.  I analyze.  That’s what I do.  And, generally speaking, I’m arrogant, but not rude.  I love my mother and enjoy spraying women’s perfume in department stores when no one is looking.  So sue me.    

To prove that I am indeed a fun-filled philogynist at heart, I have included some lovely pictures of Barry’s most famously attractive paramours.  It’s hard to argue with beauty — or attitude.

Thumbnail image for milano_zito.jpghilary-duff.jpg

While it’s great fun and all, looking at these pretty ladies forces me to face a moral quandary of my own; therefore, I will say goodbye, for now, so I can come to terms with the situation.  In the meantime, please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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