Hey there, double wides. What’s shakin’? (Besides Asdrubal Cabrera’s voice, that is.) The Mets activated the self-proclaimed center of the universe from the DL before yesterday’s game and listed him as the starting second baseman. And what did he do? He got his jock strap twisted all up in knots, and started cryin’ to the press about it.
Full disclosure: I don’t have any first or even second hand knowledge that Asdrubal (Wouldn’t his natural nickname be “Ass?”) actually claimed to be the center of the universe. But any trouser snake that huddles the reporters to announce he’s “not happy about the move to second base” and “has asked his agent” to facilitate a trade, thinks he’s the friggin’ big bang itself.
News flash, Asdrubal … you ain’t no Ernie Banks, my friend.
He ain’t Derek Jeter, Ozzie Smith or Cal Ripken Jr, either. And as much as I can’t stand that gargantuan cheat, A-Rod, the fact of the matter is that he was a helluva good 6. Better than Asdrubal could ever hope to be … even in his wildest fantasies. (The baseball ones. Not the ones involving a whip cream-filled hot tub and every last model from the 2017 SI Swimsuit Edition.) In spite of how good he was, the Yanks still moved A-Rod to third. Did he go all Veruca Salt on ’em and demand a trade? No, he did not. He acted like he was part of a team. (He also acted like a total douche bag, but that’s a whole other TMZ topic.) Anyway, the last time I checked, baseball was a team sport. Even the version the Mets try to pawn off.
This year’s record aside, the team sport thing is a concept that the Cubs have perfected. Take third baseman, Kris Bryant, for instance. He spelled Rizzo at first yesterday, but you’ll see him roamin’ the outfield a lot, too. How ’bout Baez? He’s a shortstop that plays second base, cuz we got Addy at short. He’ll play third, too, like yesterday when KB was covering for Riz. Last year’s World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist, was brought to Chicago to play second, but when Baez came along, Zo headed to the outfield, though still plays second, too. Contreras and Schwarber, both catchers, also play the outfield.
Now, you could load up Chicago’s clubhouse with all the NSA spy shit you want, bug every cell phone, intercept the collective social media streams of the entire roster, and you ain’t gonna hear a single whining peep about gettin’ moved to whatever position. That’s called team baseball. You do what’s best for the team in team baseball, unlike whatever it is that Cabrera plays, in which he does — or at least expects to do — whatever is best for Asdrubal. Not only that; in a move that would put him at the top of his class at the Alex Rodriguez School of Douche Bags, he punctuates his ass-holian behavior by publicly announcing his dissatisfaction with the Mets’ decision. He’s gotta be a natural blonde.
So on one hand you’ve got former Rookie of the Year and NLMVP, Kris Bryant, playing first and left and right, instead of his natural position, third base, without turnin’ into Kanye West. And on the other you’ve got Cabrera, a mediocre glove, an average bat, and an arm like my sister demanding to be traded cuz he’s been asked to start at second base instead of short. Can you detect an attitude difference there? Any at all?
Hey there, cheese doodles. I’ve had my eyes closed for most of the season, for obvious reasons, so I was wonderin’ if anyone out there can tell me whether that was a corner the Cubs turned last night, or was that 14-3 enema we administered to the Mets just another one of those smooth spots in this bolder-strewn dirt road of a season?
Don’t get me wrong, pallie, I coulda poured last night over my pancakes this morning. Still, in spite of rackin’ up 15 hits, five of which left the yard, including a grand salami by Ian Happ, I’m not quite ready to head down to Party City. Yeah … we finally got some hits with guys on base — friggin’ amazing! I’d like to think that whatever it was — Rizzo hittin’ in the lead off spot, Lester still high from pickin’ Tommy Pham off of first last week, or Maddon puttin’ on his uniform in a different order — the Cubbies are about to catch fire. Of course, I’d also like to think that the missus is gonna put more hide-the-sausage days on her ‘to do’ list.
Take last week, for instance. The Cubs had won five straight, including a 10-2 A-bomb (that A is for Arietta, my friend) where the Cubbies treated the Marlins like a Donald Trump pinata at Elizabeth Warren’s birthday party. As a result, the wire was all abuzz with a heapin’ helping of hyperbole tied to the North Siders. Words like “surging” and “dominant” — terms that this year are usually associated with the Stros and the Nats — were actually being used in the same sentences with “the Cubs.” And lemme tell ya … I was pretty happy to read stuff like that about this year’s vintage. Still, I found it mildly entertaining — sorta like a guy juggling bowling pins, or Anthony Weiner’s last name.
What I mean is that beatin’ the Cards (26-30 at the time) and the Fish (24-33 at the time), although satisfying, wasn’t exactly a sign that the Cubs had rediscovered the lucky charms that made ’em magically delicious last season. It means they wrestled victory away from a couple of ball clubs that are slightly more mediocre than themselves. Yeah, I sound skeptical. Sue me! One incredible season (last year) — which, admittedly, was un-effing-believable — isn’t enough to break up the previous 55 years of scar tissue on my ass. History aside, though, winnin’ those five games was a distinct improvement over where we were a couple weeks before — limping outta Petco Park after being royally pants’d by the Preachers — the worst team in baseball, except for the Phillies. Kickin’ the Mets (29-34) around their own ball park last night comes with a certain measure of satisfaction, too. But winnin’ games we’re supposed to isn’t exactly somethin’ to do cartwheels over. Yeah, it’s nice, but was it a sign that the Cubs are finally runnin’ on all cylinders?
Still, I have hope. I grant you … it’s Schlombowski hope, which means it’s tempered by that hemorrhoid, Steve Bartman, and a lifetime of other rash-inducing memories that the Cubs have scarred me with. Of course I also remember the 2006 St Louis Cardinals — a skid mark of a ball club that took their hairless 83 regular season wins all the way to the World Series title. Which is to say, hope will get you just so far. After that you can squeak by with just enough hitting and pitching to win 83 games, as long as you also have a shit load of luck. So rub it if you got one, my friend. No … I’m talkin’ about a rabbit’s foot, nimrod. Sheesh.
Hey there, sponge cakes. I got a question for ya: Is anyone over the age of six and a half, besides Lee Corso, a fan of team mascots?
Unless your team is the Penthouse Pets or the Playboy Bunnies, I can see payin’ as much as zero attention to a mascot when I’m at a ball game. Okay, maybe if they passed out sling shots to the first 10,000 fans and painted a target on the San Diego Chicken (last name omitted for obscenity reasons) I could get interested. But other than that … no. So why am I writin’ about ’em? Well, I just saw where Mr. Met has been relieved of his duties as one of the major annoyances in baseball for communicating in a non-verbal manner.
This makes absolutely no sense to me for the following reasons:
1. Mr. Met is a mascot. And like every other mascot that’s been farted outta someone’s brain, Mr. Met is supposed to be mute. How the hell else is he expected to communicate?!
2. I’m willin’ to bet the Mets don’t FedEx someone in from Walla Walla to wear that get-up. You gotta figure the guy is from New York — born and raised — and it’s a well-known fact that New Yorkers learn how to flip the bird before the ink is dry on their birth certificates. So … in the words of every New Yorker since Henry Hudson, “What the fuck did you expect?”
3. One thing is certain: Whoever Mr. Met is, he’s a total die-hard. Probably has a Daryl Strawberry tramp stamp. I mean who else is gonna dress up as a friggin’ baseball and march up and down the Citi Field steps for the duration of the swamp-like New York summer? Combine that kinda rabid fanaticism ($3 word bonus) with the fact that the Mets are playin’ about like the Cubs are playin’ (they positively, totally, completely suck*) and you’re gonna have some frustrations spill over in ways that aren’t always ready for prime time. It’s to be expected.
4. Mr. Met only has 4 fingers, not 5 like you and me. Actually it’s 3 fingers and a thumb. But I ask you: How do you give someone your middle finger if you don’t, technically, have a middle finger?
5. The guy flipped off a Mets fan, but if anyone deserves the bird, it’s Mets fans. I’m still so sore from what they did to us in the playoffs a couple years ago, the Schlombowski man cave turns into a veritable aviary whenever we play the Mets.
6. Two words: Milton Bradley. When the monopoly guy was playin’ for the Cubs, he musta given the Mr. Mets’ high sign to the faithful a dozen times. This is a guy in uniform, mind you, and he didn’t get booted. And keeeeeyyy-ryyyyyyssstt … if there was ever a guy even remotely associated with baseball that shoulda been pink-slipped, it was Bradley. And maybe Bud Selig. Rob Womanfred is a good candidate, too.
Some will make the argument that Mr. Met represents the ball club and, as such, flippin’ off the fans casts a shadow over the organization. To which I ask, how do you back that up when there’s been plenty of guys who smacked their wives around (Chuck Knoblauch, etc.,) or impregnated women in practically every major league city (Steve Garvey, etc.,) or were drug cheats (Barry Bonds, etc.,) — all much more damning offenses? How come nothin’ happened to those guys? Are we to believe the Mets organization is classier than say, the Dodgers? Debatable, I grant you, but probably not.
Personally, I’d like to see the rule-happy Rob Manfred finally institute something that actually IS in the best interest of baseball and give mascots the Shoeless Joe Jackson treatment.
*Full disclosure: The Mets suck (music to my ears) mostly because of some key injuries. The Cubs, on the other hand, appear to have forgotten how to play baseball. Or they think winning a single Series is good enough … WRONG! Or they’re more concerned with pickin’ out their costumes for the next theme’d road trip.
Hey there, turf toes. Happy little Friday. (Uh … that mean’s Thursday, White Sox fans.)
Anybody see Tim Tebow’s debut as a Met yesterday? Two words: strike six. One can only hope that the rest of the Mets — all goose-bumped from showerin’ with a Heisman Trophy winner — start swingin’ just like him. Hey, I totally get that hittin’ a wicked-nasty Rick Porcello sinker is harder than a choir boy at a porn festival. And I freely admit that the only difference between Tebow at the plate and ME at the plate is about 5 inches and 47 lbs of solid muscle. But I mean, c’mon … Puttin’ Joey Chestnut in a suit and tie doesn’t qualify him to teach classes on the finer points of culinary etiquette.
Now I like Tebow. As a football player. In that capacity, I thought he got the shaft by the press — a bunch of yay-hoos who couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat, by the way, and who attacked the hell outta him for wearin’ his faith on his football uniform sleeve. Especially that colossal trouser snake, Bill Maher. Of course you never hear anyone breath a friggin’ syllable about players of color, in any sport, for expressing their thanks to the Almighty after takin’ someone deep, or for praising the G-man after winnin’ the Super Bowl. But Tebow? They did everything but actually nail him to a cross, my friend.
I give a lot of credit to the guy for standing up to that pinheaded crap and chasin’ his other dream. I mean I’m guessing baseball is some kinda dream. Although, so far, it’s a pretty bad one. Still, workin’ hard enough to get a shot is commendable. But at some point, I think we’re gonna have another Michael Jordan come-to-Jesus revelation, and Timmy is gonna realize that hittin’ a running back would be lot easier than hittin’ a baseball.
And if that doesn’t happen, even the geniuses running the Mets may eventually bring their heads back out in the sunshine. Of course, I could be wrong. But I’m not.
There were 2,430 games played this season, and it took the very last one for the Giants to manufacture a chance at the Post Season. How you interpret that can either give you hives or a grin the size of Prince Fielder’s butt.
It’s hard to figure a team like San Francisco. They’ve got a good staff, a line up of veterans, a damn good manager in Bruce Bochy, and a ton of experience with the post season in the last decade. A little too much. Like there should be a special episode of Hoarders about the Giants. And yet they still sucked like Linda Lovelace with a Dyson since the All Star break.
This is also an even year, which holds sway over the superstitious. Not that Cubs fans are immune to that condition. Two words: Billy Goat. Me, personally? I never, ever change my underwear in the middle of a winning streak. Needless to say, I got a little crispy now and then this season. Totally worth it, though. Anyway, Giants fans believe that even numbered years belong to their team — that they own ’em. And I gotta tell you … it would give me a world of satisfaction for the Cubs to prove what a Mount Everest-sized pile of crap that is.
The fact that the Giants made it to the Wild Card game at all, in spite of playin’ the second half of the season like the fog had rolled all the way into their clubhouse, says a whole lot about them, none of which I like very much. But I think an even numbered year has about as much to do with the Giants makin’ the playoffs as the color red does.
And that’s the thing. If they didn’t get in because of some voodoo, witchcraft, hocus pocus BS, then what’s the reason? As much as the legacy of Barry Bonds still sandpapers my backside, I gotta hand it to the Giants; they’re a grizzled lineup that plays team ball, doesn’t give up, and somehow finds a way to survive when they’re nose-to-nose with the grim reaper. Those are admirable qualities in a ball club, no question, and even though the words are gonna taste like the south end of a sick rhino, I gotta say that the Giants are probably for real and, unlike the geeked-out, cucumber mist bottled water-drinkin’ fans they got, they’re probably not big believers in the make-me-laugh, even-numbered-year thing.
Full disclosure: I was pullin’ for the Mets last night. And I gotta tell ya, after what happened last year, that felt a whole lot like havin’ a heart transplant without anesthesia. I just figured the Cubs would have an easier time with them than San Francisco, and that they’d do the same thing that the Giants did — chip away at the Mets’ pen.
Of course if Mad-Bum and his band of Halloween-colored honyocks think it’s gonna be more of the same against the Cubs, they’re sorely mistaken. No way Chicago is first pitch flailing at anything in the northern hemisphere like New York. LlNot a chance. Just 21 pitches got Bumgarner through the first 3 frames. That was epically-stupid on the part of the Mets, who wasted a brilliant outing by Thor and now will be swingin’ golf clubs this weekend instead of bats. And by the way, I don’t take Syndergaard out. He’d given up a grand total of 1 hit and had somethin’ like 10 K’s over 6 innings. Yeah, yeah … Granderson saved his narrow hiney on that deep drive to center, but that had more to do with where he was positioned than Thor runnin’ outta gas. It was a long out, nothin’ more. Look, all I’m sayin’ is if my horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown … do I replace the jockey at Belmont? No. I do not. What idiots.
It’s that kinda moronic hitting and coaching that played right into the Giants’ hands, and was a big factor in last night’s outcome.
And what about Yoenis Cespedes? He looked like a friggin’ crayon with that hair. I’m sorry, but if you’re doin’ that sorta crap as you head into the playoffs, you’re not focused. You’re tempting the gods to make an example of you. And did they ever? He went 0-4 with 2 strike outs, and got nothin’ on the ball when he did make contact. But, hey … LOVE your hair, Yoenis.
The gods weren’t done by any stretch, either. Enter Conor Gillaspie. Seriously? Conor … Gillaspie? A Conor Gillaspie could be a bank manager. A Conor Gillaspie might sir on the Supreme Court. But steppin’ into size 16 hero shoes in a win-or-go-home game? No. That’s the gods at work, my friend. Plain and simple.
If you look at the last week of the season, and last night’s game on top of that, you might conclude that the Giants have reacquired their mojo, and will now be an even-numbered foregone conclusion to be reckoned with. And that’s fine. The Force has a powerful effect on the weak mind.
But as the Wizard so emphatically put it to Dorothy, “Not so fast. NOT so fast!”
Anyone — and I’m mostly talkin’ to you Giants fans, now — anyone thinkin’ the Cubs are gonna pull a Golden State Warriors against the G-men oughta get a CAT scan right now. The best record in baseball means nothin’ to a team that hasn’t won a ring since William Howard Taft was diddlin’ interns in the Oval Office. There’s a whole lot more they’re playin’ for. On the very tip-top of that list would be writin’ the biggest sports story on the planet in the last 7 decades. The entire city of Chicago and, hell, half the country wants to see the Cubs doin’ the champagne boogie. I’ll bet the Giants won’t even be all that broken hearted when Rob Manfred is handin’ the hardware to Ricketts. Point is, the Cubs have a distinct purpose, and it’s one helluva lot bigger than just winnin’ the Series. It’s about healing. It’s about burying the damn curse. It’s about givin’ something to back to Cubs fans for 108 of stickin’ with a team that coulda been mistaken for a possum. And I believe the Giants are about to find out just how important that is to Chicago.
Thus, in spite of San Francisco’s do or die last night, and their willing themselves past LA to even get that far, there happens to be another possible scenario besides them findin’ their mojo. In fact, there may be no mo jo in their mojo. That is possible, my friend. What they’ve had to do just to get there may be all they could muster.
Whether they’re runnin’ on fumes or emotionally topped off with full-octane Willy Mays karma, I don’t think it’s gonna matter one iota. (What the hell is an iota, anyway?) I think the Cubs are bound and determined to finish what they started in April, and unless they come down with a team-wide case of the Black Plague, nobody — not Mad-Bum, not Posey, and certainly not Conor Gillaspie — is gonna be able to do a damn thing about it.