Results tagged ‘ World Series ’
This year there’s a good chance that the American elections and the World Series will end within a week of each other. And since nothing says America like baseball and apple pie, that’s good news. More than that, both of them have the chance to be doozies this time around. Baseball had it’s first play-in wild card game. The Presidential election has it’s first candidate who wears magical underwear. The whole world has turned upside down but luckily we just get to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Normally I’d spend quite a bit of time here explaining how we get to the end and who goes where. I’d predict the Yankees and Orioles while waxing rhapsodic on the Giants and Reds. I’d try to compare each one to a major figure in the two parties and then slowly whittle both sides down until we had a final face off. Somehow I’d work both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden in there, trying to set Biden’s propensity for off-the-cuff remarks (“He’s clean AND articulate!”) against Ryan’s propensity to rearrange the truth into a freakish facsimile of itself (“Yeah, bro, I totally ran a marathon in less than three hours despite having to stop to rescue a small child and his kitten from a burning tree”).
But not this year. This year is different. This year is already set. This is the year that Willard Romney and Barack Obama throw down for all the marbles. And this is also the year that my Tigers and Jeff’s Cardinals meet again for a rematch of the 2006 World Series.
That’s right folks, although it may not seem probable or even possible, you heard it here first. The World Series this year will be a Red State Blue State phantasmagoria. Justin Verlander vs. Adam Wainwright. Jim Leyland vs. the guy who replaced Tony La Russa. Prince Fielder vs. not-Albert Pujols. Triple Crown winner and likely MVP Miguel Cabrera vs. anyone stupid enough to actually throw to him. It’s a matchup for the ages.
So, how does this match up with the Presidential race, you ask? Well, like this:
Barack Obama, like the Cardinals, is the incumbent, and both find themselves in much shakier positions than when they last won. The Cardinals are playing with a ragtag team and no longer have master strategist La Russa at the reigns. Meanwhile, Obama is playing on a field that tilts a different direction each week depending on jobs reports and the unemployment rate. The Cardinals come in on the high of winning the inaugural Wild Card play-in game while Obama has been surfing the wave of Bin Laden’s death. But both of them have come crashing back to earth in the last few days with Obama’s performance in the first debate and the Cardinals’ dropping game one of the Division Series at home. But you’d be stupid to count either one out just yet.
Willard “Mitt” Romney, just like the Tigers, almost made it to the finals last time but fell just short in the end. And both of them seem to be getting hot at just the right time. The Tigers finally found that next gear they had been missing all year as they sped past the White Sox and then took a quick 2-0 lead over the A’s in the Division Series. Willard seemed to do the same as he used an excellent debate performance to make up ground in the polls. Sure, he may not have been anyone’s top choice coming out of a field that included a man whose name is now synonymous with the “frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex,” but he did pull it out in the end (no pun intended) and now has the parties elites linded up behind him (again, no pun intended). Similarly, the Tigers probably didn’t top anyone’s list limply sliding out of an impressively putrid AL Central (seriously?) but here they both are.
But, the answer you’re all dying to know is, “Who wins?” And it’s a tough one to call. On the one hand, I’d love to see my Tigers finally pay pack the Cardinals for ruining our run in 2006. On the other hand, although I realize there aren’t that many differences between the Republicans and Democrats, I really don’t think that Romney’s indebtedness to the Christian right and the Tea-Party are good for our country’s future our for our role as a leader in the international community. As I’ve said before, it’s great to have your team win but what happens in politics affects not just us but the rest of the world…
…which is why I will celebrate with a heavy heart when the Tigers win the World Series. I’ll cheer my Tigers during the first week of November but I’ll grieve for my country in the second.
Don’t hate me because I called it right last time. Hate me because I’m right this time.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about my buddy Jeff is his ability to admit when he’s wrong. And despite what he may say at the end of every post, there have been plenty of times that he has had to admit to errant predictions or inappropriate accusations.
That doesn’t make it any less refreshing when it happens, though. For instance, his recent mea culpa for getting the AL Central race so wrong came as a breath of fresh air. And if anyone should know about never counting a team out you would think that it would be the guy who supports the Cardinals, a teams whose 2006 season was the ultimate story of lucking into the playoffs and then getting hot at the right time.
Now, I’m a much more cautious person than Jeff. I’m not going to make any wild predictions about the Tigers winning the pennant, much less the World Series. However, the 2006 Cardinals (and the 2011 Cardinals, for that matter) proved that anything is possible and the Tigers definitely have a team that, if everything clicks, could do some damage.
Hey, what could be better than Jeff taking a bath? Or a shower, as it were.
Who should throw out the first pitch if the Nats make the Series?
In a city known for its hot-winded bureaucracy, I can definitely see this scenario as something DC suits would fight for. I mean, who wouldn’t welcome the public relations boost that would come with leading the charge in Washington’s first World Series since 1933?
The problem is, I wouldn’t want any currently serving politicians out there on the mound. Obama, a clumsily outspoken White Sox fan with an awkward delivery, would not be a good choice considering the pending presidential election and his penchant for wildness. And asking a former president such as George W. Bush, a man who can certainly hold his own on the baseball diamond, would also be a bad choice considering the awful PR that would go with it.
The first pitch in the World Series should be by someone who is just as much a part of the spirit of Nationals baseball as the players and coaches and front office. It should be someone with great leadership skills. Someone who is adored regardless of political affiliation. Someone who is dead.
It should be Teddy Roosevelt.
Since the Expos became the Nationals, fans of this ill-fated franchise have had little to cheer for… except for Teddy Roosevelt. And yet despite leading the charge during the Spanish-American War, despite conquering an elusive elephant whilst on African safari, and despite surviving a bullet shot from John Schrank’s gun, the stuffed man still cannot find a way to sit atop the Presidents Race podium.
The very least DC could do is give him the first pitch.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Everyone does. Right?
22-year veteran. Stand-up, lunch pail guy from Peoria. No nonsense, just give me the bat and let me hit ‘em far. Defensively challenged, yes, but in a funny ha-ha way (not a funny-sad Carlos Lee way).
That’s Jim Thome. And everyone loves him for it.
Except one thing: Jim Thome still doesn’t have a ring.
All around the world and I – I – I – I can’t find my baby…
This, of course, is true despite his strong efforts to land on a contending team. He had several chances with the Indians before going to the Phillies. But just as the Phillies were developing into a powerhouse, Thome left for the newly crowned World Series champion White Sox after the ’05 season. He then wandered in south side purgatory before getting a shot with the playoff-bound Dodgers in ’09, then signed with an up-and-coming Twins club that nosedived him back into the lap of Cleveland — a team that just couldn’t hang around the top long enough to give him another shot at a championship.
So he resigned with the Phillies. Best pitching staff in the Majors. Potent offense. Okay, anemic offense. But they were supposed to be potent. Doesn’t matter anymore.
Thome is in Birdland now. And while I love the move and think the young kids in Baltimore are gonna learn a heck of a lot from the old man, I really don’t think the Orioles are going to contend for the World Series title.
I just hope Jim is cool with another spin around the world, so he can find his bay-beh…
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
In 1991 the Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 7 games. In the final game of the Series, a single in the 10th was the hit that won it. Seven months earlier, 52 hits rained down on Rodney King and led to the LA riots in 1992.
I don’t think anyone would say that Rodney King was a good guy. The 1991 beating was the result of a DUI stop following a high-speed chase. But I also don’t think anyone would say he deserved to get his ass handed to him by a bunch of racist LA cops. With the videotaped beating and the subsequent trial of the officers, King became a cultural touchstone. The LA riots only added to the legend and King’s plea, “Can we all get along?” became part of our national vernacular.
20 years later, King has left the building. It’s odd to think about how someone who really only had a bit part to play in history ended up becoming so important to the recent history of the United States. I’m pretty sure just about anyone alive at that time remembers the beating, the trial of the officers and the ensuing riots. But how many people remember Jack Morris’ 10-inning shutout that clinched the Series for the Twins and clinched him the Series MVP trophy? King may not have been a hero. He may not have even been that good of a person. But his story still redefined a moment in American history.
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.
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!!!!
This Wednesday officially kicks off the 2012 MLB season and even though I’ll probably be fast asleep while it unfolds in the Far East, I’m sure the Japanese will be plenty excited about watching two awful teams compete against one another, especially since there’s at least one Suzuki per nine.
On this side of the pond, we have much, MUCH more to look forward to. In fact, I might need a good tazing before the Cardinals open up in Miami, just so I’m forced to sit down!
Here are some of the things that have me baseball-tweaking:
The GOOD Blue Jays Uniforms Are Back!
Still mesmerized by the awful logo redesign and poor color scheme that killed Joe Carter’s Blue Jays look in 2003, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the old logo back. And royal blue! No gray! Alongside the Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, I gotta say the classic Jays uni is about as smart and sleek as baseball uniforms come.
Grant Balfour Finally Gets to Be a Closer!
The 34-year old Aussie has been quietly waiting in the wings of every team he’s been on and now, finally, the Oakland A’s are giving him a shot at the closer role. I still think closers are overrated, but I like to think that maybe, if Balfour performs well in his new role, he might finally get paid what he’s worth. His numbers are fantastic and most people don’t even know who he is. I’m afraid playing in Oakland won’t help his popularity, but maybe Billy Beane will throw him another peanut. (Also, if you’re wondering, yes, Balfour’s fastball does have an Australian accent.)
I love Bobby Valentine. For myriad reasons. He’s cocky. He’s loud. His feelings get hurt. He’s controversial. He pisses off players, coaches, umpires. And he’s a goddamn baseball genius. HOLLA!!!
Good grief. The dude is gonna be FIFTY this year. FIFTY YEARS OLD. And he’s still gettin’ guys out. I absolutely love that. I love him! How can you not?!?!
And finally… you probably knew this was coming but…
WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m loud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Only a few weeks remain before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, which means we’re that much closer to the 2012 baseball season beginning with the St. Louis Cardinals reigning as CHAMPIONS OF THE UNIVERSE!!!
Hot dog! What more could a Fredbird fanatic like myself ask for on his birthday?
How about a decent bullpen?
And there it is: a beautiful, beautiful bullpen! Fernando Salas, Lance Lynn, Scrabble. And Motte to close?!?! Wow!
I have to go back many years (at the height of Izzy-mania to be exact) to remember going into spring training sans a bullpen worry (or nightmare). Having a closer whose calling card is missing bats is just the exclamation point!!!
And now for something completely different:
On Sunday I finished the Houston Marathon in 3 hours, 15 minutes and 19 seconds — a new personal best. And though it’s been more than 48 hours since I finished the race, not a minute has gone by where I haven’t found complete satisfaction in having accomplished the task. In fact, I don’t think I’ll stop reliving that race for a long, long time.
During my flight home to Chicago, I randomly ran into some fellow Cardinals fans friends of mine from waaaaay back. Odd as it is to bump into old friends in an unexpected place, I was quite happy with the brevity at which our conversation turned to the baseball glories of 2011, of Game 6 in particular, and how we kept our respective neighbors up that night, how our heart rates have never dipped and soared to such extreme levels. Reliving that game and that series at 30,000 feet was a pleasant testament to history.
I was reminded that you can never undo what’s been done.
And I’ll be reliving such glorious conquests for as long as I possibly can.
Hate me ‘cuz I ain’t never gonna stop gloating about the ’11 series, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s all good, dear readers, because it’s a NEW year with NEW goals and NEW impossibilities just WAITING to be made possible. So shake off that nasty hangover, nevermind that public health clinic visit you’re gonna have to make after who you took home last night and rejoice from atop the world!
Of course, if you’re a Cardinals fan like me, you can also rejoice from the top of the baseball world (that’s the only one that matters by the way) knowing that you can walk around with your chest sticking out for at least another 10 months or so. During our short break, I realized that finding a quick rebound lover would help me forget the unequivocal pain brought on by the loss of one Albert Pujols. Enter: CARLOS BELTRAN.
From Cardinal killer to Met scapegoat to hot stove spice, Mr. Beltran slips inside an already potent lineup for the repeat hunting 2012 squad. In fact, by getting Waino back and projecting a one through five order of Furcal, Beltran, Berkman, Holliday and Freese, I can’t help but git jiggy with the disco lights pulsating in my bathroom (don’t ask).
And as if that wasn’t enough excitement to start the new year, how about the fact that my fellow US Americans in Iowa seem to be ready for real change to our corporate-petting-taxpayer-blood-sucking government!?!? FINALLY, Dr. Paul is getting some love from voters, which has forced the left-leaning media to start several Bachmann-esque smear campaigns. This is what happens when the financially elite (who run the political machine) get worried about seeing their empire crumble.
But don’t worry. Dr. Paul will bring them down. Enough with the wars. Enough with corporate greed. Enough with buying things we can’t afford and wasting BILLIONS on pointless endeavors like the war on drugs. It’s time to start over and that means no more empty Obama promises from the left and no more delusion-pandering from the right.
Ahh yes. Pondering such possibilities make me feel just like I did watching D. Freese gork one over Nellie Cruz’s head.
GO CRAZY, FOLKS! GO CRAZY!
This is gonna be one helluva year.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s the thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.