You know, Pete Rose and I aren’t exactly on each other’s Christmas card lists. But tonight, the former Cincinnati gambler took the reason the Giants choked on a 3-run, 9th inning lead, and folded, wrapped and very neatly packaged it into a single word: “Stinko.”
“That was a stinko bullpen, man.” said Rose. Then he went on to paint the picture — much to my personal delight — of an on-field disaster that rivaled anything that Hollywood special effects wizards coulda dreamed up. “Five pitchers give up 3 runs before they get an out in the inning? … They didn’t deserve to win. That’s the worse collapse I’ve seen in a long time for a bullpen playin’ for what they were playin’ for.” Pete is no George Will, but those words … those were pure Shakespeare, baby.
“Idiotic” is another word that comes to mind. I came up with that one on my own, though. But at least I’ll combine it with “thank you” and a big wet kiss for Bruce Bochy for takin’ Moore outta the game when he did. Perhaps the stupidest move I’ve seen by a manager since Dusty Baker came to work at Clark and Addison. Moore had 10 K’s and had surrendered just 2 hits. And you take him out?! With the Giants’ bullpen? Wow. Bochy and Pete Carroll gotta be in the same knitting circle.
Full disclosure: I had to employ the “don’t watch cuz you’re jinxin’ the team” strategy during the last half of the game. I haven’t had to use that one all season, which may explain why it worked; it wasn’t expected. Anyway, tonight around the 5th, it became obvious that if I kept watchin’ we were gonna lose for sure, but if I turned the TV off, the Cubs had a chance. Yeah, it was a sacrifice, but that’s part of baseball. The missus headed upstairs and started yellin’ the blow-by-blow down the stairs, and in between askin’ me, “Don’t you wanna turn it on? They’re doin’ good.” (One of the million reasons why she winds my watch.) I resisted.
Deep down inside, where the corndogs and brats are processed, I know my watchin’ probably has nothin’ to do with whether the Cubs win or lose. It’s just a superstition thing. Like black cats and goats and Steve Bartmans. They’re like Justin Beeber fans — they can’t be explained with logic.
Whatever it was — me, or the Cubs finally startin’ to play like the Cubs — our visiting grays are gettin’ a champagne wash cycle tonight. And so is everyone in Wrigleyville. That doesn’t stinko.
PS. Merry Christmas, Pete.
Okay, cubcakes. So a couple of days ago the Commish dealt your reigning National League MVP a one-game suspension and an “undisclosed” fine for his post-game MF-ing of home plate umpire Brian Knight on Monday. To that I say, WHAT A FRIGGIN’ D-BAG! No, I’m not talking about Robbie Womanfred (for once). And please don’t get me started on umpires — hasn’t been a good one since Dutch Rennert forced me to stuff napkins in my ears to soften the blow my eardrums took each time he called a strike. I’m talking about the pretty boy from Vegas who thinks baseball is “tired” and in need of more players who express themselves.
Express yourself? Really? What … the metrosexual haircut and shaved chest ain’t enough, Brycie?
You know who gets tired of Harper’s expression, besides me and … oh, I don’t know … Jonathon Papelbon? Dusty Baker, that’s who. The Nationals’ skipper doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Harper expressing himself in any other ways besides hittin’ the orb out of the house, and gettin’ his friggin’ batting average above .265; a mark usually reserved for all-pick-no-stick shortstops, not someone on the verge of signing the fattest contract in sports history. Dusty’s old, man! He’s got no patience for a 23-year-old punk who thinks his crap oughta be sold next to Chanel No. 5. He’s not interested in damage control, which Harper’s mouth heaps on him regularly. Dusty just wants to win. To a veteran baseball guy, that’s the best form of expression. It’s just harder to do when your best guy gets tossed with the score tied in the ninth.
Harper, of course, was saved when pinch-hitter, Clint Robinson, swatted a walk-off homer minutes after he was ejected. Was he grateful? No. Did he fully celebrate with his team? Also, no. Brycie expressed himself. Boom! Suspended. What a douchebag.
Maybe you can’t blame a guy for being a douchebag when, as a slightly younger kid, he was paraded around the country chasing showcase after showcase, so that Scott Boras (speaking of douchebags) could fatten his wallet. Brycie thinks he’s the best thing since Old Style in a can cuz he’s been told that his whole life. Well, pallie, 1) Old Style in a bottle is the next best thing to Old Style in a can, and 2) there’s nothin’ like a pissed off manager and a steady diet of cheese between the shoulder blades to modify one’s behavior. It’s the baseball version of B.F. Skinner. (Look it up, head-shrinkers.)
When Brycie does sign his mega-gihugic, national debt-sized contract, I’m bettin’ (perfect for a Vegas guy, right) the team that pays him will have wasted millions on an athlete that ends up sharing a booth with guys like Tiger and A-Rod. What scares me is that the Cubbies will be the highest bidder.