The Playoffs

MANNY BEING SATAN.

· Joe Sez, News, The Playoffs · ,

MANNY-BEING-MANNY

Regarding Manny’s whereabouts next year, I quote … “I want to see who is the highest bidder,” Ramirez said after the Dodgers’ NLCS loss to the Philadephia Phillies. “Gas is up and so am I.”

What a friggin’ a-hole.

I grant you, he’s not alone. Everywhere you turn you got guys hitting a buck-75 going to arbitration cuz they think they’re lightin’ the world on fire. But, exxxxccuuuuuuuusse me! This guy was basically asked off the Red Sox by his teammates because he couldn’t be counted on. He made it crystal clear that he didn’t want to play for Boston anymore by dogging it, and pretty much treated Epstein, the owners, the rest of the team, and the fans the same way a baby treats a diaper. Well let me tell you Manny, you are not well-loved when your team dumps you but pays the remaining $7 million on your contract while you play for someone else. That pretty much says it all. In fact, it says you’re not just a garden variety a-hole, you’re a large, economy, only-available-at-Costco sized a-hole; with a capital ‘A’ and a ‘hole’ you could drive a cement truck through.

I know all you Dodgers fans could give a crap cuz you wouldn’t have made the playoffs without him, and he was a big part of why you kicked our asses for sure. But I’m sorry, someone who doesn’t care about anything except money is either my first wife, my first wife’s brother, or a self-centered, selfish S.O.B. of gargantuan proportions. Like I said … Manny.

Oh, I might mention that none of those three can play left field worth a damn, either.

So while your average fan — the guy driving a cab to pay the rent, or selling insurance for 20 years, or doing whatever to scrape together the money to send the kids to college — is cutting back with the way the economy is and all, we got Manny being Satan, making it harder for Joe Fan to afford the occasional game with the kids. Nice. Thanks a lot, ‘Gas is up and so am I.’

But there is a bright spot in all of this; and that’s the recent rumblings of Hank Steinbrenner on the subject of acquiring Mr. I-play-hard-if-I-feel-like-it. Which is to say he’s definitely interested in Manny. So you gotta figure the guy’s gonna end up on a team like the Yankees — if not the actual Yankees — where money grows on trees. Which means that you Yankees fans might have to decide, do I wanna make the mortgage payment this month or go see a couple ball games? Especially in that new ballpark. I mean the potential acquisitions of Ramirez and Sabathia (who they’ll also try to nab) in combination with the price of the new House That Ruth Didn’t Build is gonna be like the financial version of the perfect storm. And right on the heels of all this other crap that Wall Street and all those fine, upstanding, never-knew-a-thing-about-it shysters in Washington just laid on us. Anyway, if there are any fans (besides White Sox fans) I’d like to see pay a higher price for their allegiance to their team, it’s New York’s. No question.

So I hope Manny gets everything he wants from whoever thinks that gas is worth $25 million a gallon. But whoever that is had better hope that he uses all 4 gears, instead of just first and second like he did in Boston last year.

Joe

DARLING, LOVER, SWEETIE PIE.

· Joe Sez, The Playoffs · ,

Here’s reason number 2,727,891 why I hate the Mets:

I’m sitting here watching the Sox and Rays in the 4th, when the plate umpire has to punch out because of an injury. So now we got a delay in the game until the crew chief figures out what to do. But it’s not like the guy was carried off on a stretcher. He just strolls over to the Rays’ dugout on his own power. So … Just give another ump the gear and let’s go already! Nope. Gotta call the blue off the field, like the safety of the free world hangs in the balance.

Anyway, while all this is going on, we’re treated to the analysis of the TBS announcers, including former Met, Ron Darling. (Nice last name, pal.) Well, you know where the conversation goes, right? How it’s gonna be really difficult for the pitchers to sit there for an extra 5 minutes while the umpires are grabbing a sandwich or two in the clubhouse, deciding who’s gonna call the rest of the game. Of course the resident expert, Darling, chimes in, explaining what a hardship it is for a pitcher in this situation — like the unbearable 5 minutes he’s having to endure is gonna totally unravel his mojo.

So Love Muffin (I like that better than ‘Darling’) tells about how when he was playing, he was scheduled to pitch one day but it got postponed for one reason or another. But you know, he had to say goodbye to the family and … arrrrgggghhhh … go allllll the way to the ballpark … uuuuggghhhhh … make arrangements for comp tickets and … get this … since he pitched the next day, he had to go through all that TWICE!

Oh my God.

Good thing you could pitch, Darling, cuz if you’d had a real job you wouldn’t have lasted 15 minutes. Just the kind of guy you want in a fox hole with you.

When I hear crap like that (in addition to wishing I was within choking distance) I figure it’s a window into the world of the person who said it. Like the fact that he didn’t get to ‘play’ when he was expecting to defines adversity for the guy. What happens when he gets a hang nail … 911 and an ambulance to the ER?!

Remember Lou Gehrig, the “luckiest man on the face of the earth” while staring death straight in the eye? (I grant you, he was a Yankee not a Met. But to me, all ballplayers from New York are the same. Which, by the way, explains a lot about the Giants and the Dodgers.) So like I was sayin’, New York ballplayers went from playing-everyday-while-dying-of-cancer tough, to Mr. get-me-a-tissue-the-sky-is-falling candy ass. If that doesn’t summarize why the Mets suck, I don’t know what does.

Joe

JOE THE SCHLOMBOWSKI.

· Joe Sez, News, The Playoffs · , , ,

Hey there, ballot box. So, last night, after the Phillies finished wiping their feet on the Dodgers, I flipped the channel to one of those talking head news things. Well hoo-boy! They’ve all got their panties in a wad, screaming and cuttin’ each other off while reviewing the instant replay of the game I shoulda watched; Obama vs. McCain.

So here’s my take.

Obama? He’s your Mark Mulder type — smooooooth delivery; deceptive. Plus he’s a lawyer (like Scott Boras). I trust him about like Billy Martin trusted Steinbrenner. Then you got McCain. He’s like Joe Torre — been around a while; nice guy; spent time in a prison camp which, by all accounts, was almost as bad as working for the aforementioned Yankees owner. I think he’s here for the old-timers game, but that’s almost over. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what happens, or whether you like one of these guys and hate the other one — or vice versa — you will be disappointed in the end, I guarantee. In 4 years we’re all gonna be shakin’ our heads wondering what the hell happened. Again. High hopes followed by disappointment: one helluva lot like being a Cubs fan, my friend. Plus, I don’t see either one of them getting serious about legislation that would outlaw the designated hitter, which is what America really needs.

Me? I’m gonna cast a write-in vote for Billy Beane, or Theo Epstein, or that toddler running the Rays. Hey, no matter what the situation or how much money they have to spend, they win. I mean comparatively speaking, all those A-holes sitting in Washington couldn’t build a 3rd place Little League team. And they’re spending trillions! You give Epstein a fraction of that bank roll and he’d have Ted Williams and Babe Ruth in the lineup again. I’m not kidding.

Anyway, I’m just sayin’ that picking Obama or McCain isn’t gonna make any difference. It’s all empty promises, french fry; a lot of I’m gonna do this and he’s gonna do that. A pissing match of global economic proportions, and none of it is gonna be good for Joe the voter. Hell, he didn’t even get mentioned. They talked about Joe six-pack and Joe the Plumber, but not Joe the voter. Personally, I’d like it a whole lot better if these two guys were a little more concerned with Joe the Schlombowski. How about freezing ticket prices at Wrigley … or making Wrigleyville a tax-free zone … or 50% rebate checks for Cubs fans? You know, something tangible. Plus there’s that totally inequitable situation with football having cheerleaders while baseball just has prehistoric ballplayers on the sidelines. That, my town-hall-meeting friend, is what you call discrimination. Has either one of those bozos brought that up? HELL no.

But more important than all that stuff is what happens tonight between the Rays and Red Sox. I say that because a Series between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia is a tragedy of catastrophic proportions. It’ll make the credit crisis seem like you didn’t get the prize out of your cereal box in the morning. I mean, the Rays and the Phils?! Who gives a crap?

Go Red Sox.

Joe

THE AFTERSHOCK.

· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, News, The Playoffs · , ,

CUBS-LOSE-PLAYOFFS

Alright. So you know how when your team wins the Series (I actually have no first-hand knowledge of this but I’ve seen it on ESPN) it’s expected that the city throws a big party, right? And you gotta have a parade down the biggest street with bands and confetti, and a buncha people screaming like Jesus himself is in the lead car and has just agreed to a 10 year contract for a dollar a year. So I wanna know … where’s the other side of that coin, my friend?

Leading off, Alphonso Soriano:

I am — and anyone within a few blocks of my house will confirm this — pretty miffed about what I’ve been hearing out of a few of the Cubs who allegedly ‘played’ in the NLDS. Leading off, for example, we have the always eloquent Alfonso Soriano. The other day he says, “We’re a good team for [162] games, but we don’t do nothing after that. That’s the difference. We’re not put together for [a short series].”

First off, Mr. 1-for-14, Mr. I-got-one-less-hit-than-I-got-in-last-year’s-sweep, Mr. I-make-Mendoza-look-like-Babe-friggin-Ruth, (Sorry, I just gotta say it straight to him) it sounds like you weren’t paying much attention in English class with that quote. About as much as you did in Gettin’ On Base class. Second, if you think we’re not built for a short series, how the hell do you think we’re gonna get past the first round of the playoffs, let alone win the big one?! You think Bud’s just gonna give us a free pass? “Yeah, uh, Jim? Selig, here. You can call me Mr. Commissioner. I have it on good authority that you guys are not a short series team. That, and Soriano couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. So I’m waving the NLDS and, uh, you know … just take the rest of the week off.”

Hang on a second. There’s more. Mr. April also said, “I think we had too much time to relax [after clinching the division with 8 games left], and we got a little surprised at how the Dodgers played.” ………. KEEE-riste.

So riddle me this, batless man, how come it is, then, that the ’55 Brooklyn Dodgers clinched the National League pennant earlier than any team in the history of the sport, and then beat the Yanks in the Series? Are you friggin’ kidding me with this ‘too relaxed’ thing?! I can’t think of anyone with a REAL job who gets worse at it after they’ve had some time off. It wasn’t really time off anyway, but the way you’re talkin’ about it leads me to believe that it’s ok with you to coast. You know when a good time to coast is? AFTER YOU WIN THE WORLD SERIES, pallie. Before that it’s just being lazy. And I don’t wanna hear anything about an emotional let down either. Thanks to guys like you hittin’ .071 in the playoffs, it’s us fans that oughta be bringing that up.

Oh yeah, and let’s be surprised at how the Dodgers played. Cuz they ended the season like a Saturn V rocket-equipped freight train. Yeah, I totally get it. Shocker. With Torre at the helm? Manny? Ethier? You oughta be surprised at how you played, my pinhead friend. Disappointed, even. Embarrassed. Sick to your stomach. Awash in self-loathing. Maybe standing on Chicago street corners apologizing to everybody (at least those who don’t take a swing at you) until it’s time to report to Mesa. Oh, and for those that do take a shot, go ahead and swing back. You’ll probably miss.

Finally, in the spirit of ‘anything you say can and will be used against you’, I quote Alfonso once more: “2008 is over. 2009 is coming.” Well, Mr. who-gives-a-crap, it ain’t over for the fans. We gotta listen to our buddies around the country dish it to us for the next 6 months. And I’m pretty sure if I try whistling that Alibi Ike tune of yours, I’d be kicked out of my fantasy league. So, alright, 2008 is over and 2009 is coming. But unless you can motivate yourself to play more than 162 games, I hope 2009 is coming with a new left fielder.

Up next, Bob Howry:

I’ll make this one quick. The other day Howry says, “It’s all who plays good at the right time.” No caca. You think he figured that one out all by himself, or did he have to look in the back of the book? If the playoffs aren’t the right time, pal, when is the right time? You know one of the things that gets under my Cubbie blue skin is that a guy with that kind of electrical activity between the ears is makin’ four and a half million bucks.

Then there’s Dempster:

When asked if he’d like to return next year for a 6th season, he said, “I love the city. I love playing here. Hopefully, everything works out. For right now, I’m worried about making a tee-off time somewhere.” Well that’s nice. Now this is gonna sound cruel, and I have loved Ryan all season long. I mean he was tough. We could count on him. But in the playoffs (when great teams distinguish themselves) he’s looking for the strike zone with a white cane. I think if he worried as much about getting the ball over the plate in Game 1 as he does about a friggin’ tee-time, we might possibly still be in this thing. Then again, maybe not, right Alfonso?

I could go on, but I think my medication is finally kicking in. In time. the obvious frustration will pass. Maybe. Someday. I’m really not sure. And, the truth is that some of our guys looked pretty darn good. And some sounded contrite almost, and personally sad that they let us down. Which brings me back to the beginning of this whole long-winded thing, where I’m wondering why is a city expected to treat these guys like war heros when they win the Series, if they can’t be stand up guys when they F-up? Personally, I’d like to see something other than a bead to the links.

A personalized, written apology would be nice.

Like that’s gonna happen. But wouldn’t it be great — even just good manners — if they at least acted like there’s a difference between a good performance and the one they gave against the Dodgers, which totally and completely and entirely sucked. The first two games, anyway. Wouldn’t it be nice if it even sounded like the fans mattered? I’m telling you, I get another ‘whatever’ attitude from these guys and I could become a Sox fan.

Did I just say that?

Joe

THE BLOG MUST GO ON.

· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs · ,

SURFER-GIRL

I got this nice pep talk email from a woman in California, today. I know, I know. Left coasters — besides rooting for the likes of the Giants and Dodgers and stuff — are generally, you know, genuine whackos. Usually you’re just rolling your eyes when they’re lips are moving, while you listen intently for anything of substance that falls between the word ‘dude’ and the next use of the word ‘dude.’

So little surfer girl was wondering if I’m gonna keep writing the blog now that the Cubs are out of it, as though the previous 47 years of misery hadn’t taught me what rooting for the Cubs means. (See? Left coast.) I mean, it’s not like the Cubbies ever really had a chance after friggin’ Sports Illustrated started writing about our chances like the Series was a foregone conclusion. That brain trust has never picked a winner, so as soon as the first kind word appeared, Lou shoulda just had them clean out their lockers and hit the links. The season was over.

Anyway, it’s baseball, right? Somebody is always doing something great — or stupid — to talk about. And there’s never a day when something can’t be made out of nothing. For instance, the Red Sox just won the ALDS, like 30 seconds ago. Again. For something like the 5th or 6th time in recent years. Now this is a team who traded Babe Ruth; who has choked more times than Linda Lovelace. I mean what’s worse, telegraphing the end of the season with a 34 and 56 record by the All Star break, or takin’ your fans down to the wire — even the playoffs — before proving to the Yankees that they are the better team? For me, I’d rather know where I stand early. Seriously.

Yeah, yeah, I know the Sox have been better recently. I’m just making the point that dragging your fans to the brink of a championship before saying, “just kidding,” is the baseball equivalent of waterboarding. After years of that kinda thing, how is it the Red Sox now get to shower in Champaign all the time? Where’s the karma in that? The Cubbies on the other hand, when we are still actually in it at the end of the season, we deserve to shake ourselves free of the goat cuz it’s such a rare occurrence. It oughta be marked by a national friggin. holiday. And some hardware.

Anyway, Gidget, I’ll be blogging just the same. And I will try to forget the fact that having the season we did this year, then letting the Dodgers mop up the field with us, I know has taken 5 or 10 years off my liver — because of the extra celebrations during the season, sure. But mostly because of the unbelievable disappointment during the playoffs.

Joe