Sunday, February 19, 2012

Old Time Rock N’ Roll

Following the release of the Forbes’ Most Disliked Athletes, we asked you why you hated Kris Humphries. 12 of you actually responded. Wow. Apparently we found something you’re passionate about. A man with no personality. Exciting stuff. 5 of you said that you were jealous of the fact that he penetrated Kim Kardashian. Not surprising that this choice was the winner. In second place with 4 votes is “I don’t hate him. I actually have no idea who the hell he is.” 3 of you voted for “It’s his hair. Something about it. Makes me feel like he’s not to be trusted.” No one voted for the fact that he spells his name wrong. If we voted on our own polls, that would’ve gotten at least 1 vote because his spelling of the name “Chris” drives Serena crazy. How stupid could his parents possibly be? Everyone knows Chris is spelled with a “Ch,” not a “K.” It’s just like that a-hole Andruw Jones. It’s An-DREW, d*ckhead!

By now, we’ve all heard the news that Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter died following a battle with brain cancer that lasted approximately 9 months. Lisa returned home from work on Thursday to find Papa L heartbroken over the news. Gary Carter had always been one of the good ones. Hard working, played with fire, never heard anything scandalous about him, rallied his teammates, was about the team, not himself or his stats. In professional sports these days, a good man like Carter is hard to find and it seems as though the good ones can’t catch a break while the bad apples are given everything on a silver plate. Imagine what classy players like Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. could have done with their careers had they not had the misfortune of being plagued with injuries. Johan Santana and Justin Morneau are both coming off of severe injuries confident that they’ll return healthy for the 2012 season, but there’s no telling what the Mets and Twins are actually going to get out of these players no matter how hard they work to get back to their original form.

On the flip side, players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes were given a gift and instead of appreciating it and playing the game the way it should’ve been, they disrespected the it. Sprinkled among this gambit of jerk offs are steroid scandals, wagging tongues, lies, disrespect of management, selfishness, and flat out laziness. The most recent example of this is Jose Reyes. His departure for Miami clearly displayed that money was more important to him than being a part of a team (like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Tim Wakefield, Ken Griffey Jr., Tim Lincecum, Joe Mauer). Reyes spent years with the Mets following the signing of his big contract acting insubordinate to his management (Willie Randolph) and putting for zero effort on the field. In the final year of his contract, in an attempt to make a “good impression” on potential employers, he stepped up his game and began to play like the Reyes of old. One good season is not enough. You should be playing with heart every day. You’re paid to play, not look pretty. If that’s what you wanted out of a career, you should’ve called Tyra Banks for a position on America’s Next Top Model (ahem, we’re talking to you, Carlos Beltran).

Having an utter disregard for how the game was meant to be played is the most frustrating thing to watch as a fan. You pay good money to watch these players and it’s disappointing to feel like you care more about the outcome than they do. Not running out ground balls, not taking the extra two steps to catch a ball on the fly, swinging at bad pitches (or just watching it pass by), and not taking the extra base when it’s available to you is unacceptable. You learn these basic skills in little league. Now that you get paid to do these little things, what exactly is your problem? What the hell happened to you? You cared at one point. The aftermath of the dropped Luis Castillo pop up during the Subway Series at Yankees Stadium in 2009 blew our minds. Not because Castillo dropped the ball (that was bad enough), but because Mark Teixeira scored from first on the play. People carried on about what heads up base running that was and that’s absolutely true. It was heads up base running, but on the same token, it was two outs. He should’ve been running hard period. That’s something you learn in week 2 of playing little league. So, yeah, he should get a pat on the back for doing it, but he was also doing his job properly. Why are we making such a big deal about it? He was SUPPOSED to do that. Once upon a time, the Andruw Joneses and Alphonso Sorianos of the game used to run hard like that. Being paid big money isn’t an acceptable excuse. In fact, neither is age because despite big money and getting older, you still see Derek Jeter, TOWSNBN, and Jayson Werth running everything out. They might have lost a step or two as they’ve gotten older, but that doesn’t prevent them from playing up to the best of their ability. That’s what matters. Brian McCann is slow as sh*t, but that doesn’t stop him from running the bases as hard as he possibly can. Check out this video clip of his first big league triple. You can pretty much stop watching after 1:24 because the rest of the clip is Jeff Francoeur scoring McCann on a sac fly. Note how Chipper Jones nearly pisses himself from laughing at McCann’s base running. He may look ridiculous, but he’s hustling! As he should be.

The cult following behind Jason Varitek is flabbergasting. Do these people realize that he’s a lazy catcher? Most of his pass balls are not a result of the pitcher’s inaccuracy, but because he was too lazy to move his fat a$$ into a better fielding position. When you’re learning how to field, you’re taught that whenever possible, get your body in front of the ball. On the field, the catcher probably has the easiest time of this than any of his/her teammates. Why? Because the ball is being thrown directly to him. Instead of sticking your glove out to catch a ball to the right or left of you, shuffle your damn feet, and move your butt to get in front of the ball. How friggin’ hard is that? You see college kids doing it all the time. Hell, you see Joe Mauer doing it all the time and he’s got to be the biggest damn catcher we’ve ever seen. He’s got grasshopper legs. From that position, if the ball bounces off of you, it’ll at least stay in front of you, keeping the runners from advancing as opposed to the ball ricocheting off your glove and rolling off to god knows where. We think these lollygagging players need a little bit of this to get them back on track.

Being mouthy is second only to laziness. We’ll accept your douchey personality if you play the game the way it was meant to be (Chipper Jones). Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Carl Pavano, Jimmy Rollins, Josh Beckett, Dallas Braden and Andruw Jones are all talented athletes. They were all given gifts that normal, everyday people will never come close to. Instead of being humble, they became legends in their own minds. Dallas Braden, for example, apparently pays the mortgage on the mound at McAfee Coliseum. No one’s allowed to run across it. Not even Alex Rodriguez, who unlike Braden, has definitely clocked in many hours working with the MLB. What’s worse about Braden is that he plays for the A’s. This man isn’t even a douchebag playing in Boston, Philly, or New York where douchebags grow on trees. Pedro Martinez threw an old man (Don Zimmerman) on the ground and not only did he not apologize for this type of behavior, he apparently saw nothing wrong with it. Jimmy Rollins needs to stop for two seconds and shut the f*ck up. Just play the stupid game. Quit your damn yammering. You sound like an a-hole. Carl Pavano’s got a lot wrong with him. The Marlins’ World Series championship against the Yankees in 2003 proved that the boy could not only pitch, but pitch well in high pressure situations. What followed his departure from the Marlins is truly astounding. The man got into car accident and didn’t tell anyone in the Yankees organization of his injuries. He just decided he’d pitch through them. Way to take the team’s well-being into consideration on that one, pal. Good job.

After a lot of bitching on our part, we present you with this week’s baseball notes: All Star outfielder and 3-time Gold Glove winner Mike Cameron has announced his retirement after 17 years of playing. Cameron had agreed to terms with the Nationals just two months prior. Over the span of his career, he played with 8 teams including the White Sox, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Padres, and Brewers.

45-year old knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield also announced his retirement after 19 years with the league, 17 of them playing for the Red Sox. That’s amazing. Players just don’t stay with teams for that long anymore.

In asstastic news, Jayson Werth still looks like a hairy a-hole, but at the very least, he’s trimmed the beast that’s residing on his face. Maybe the TBB’s are finally rubbing off on him.

Bob Seger rounds out the day with, “Just give us the old time baseball players. The kind of men that played with soul. We reminisce about the days of old with those old time baseball players.”

1 comment:

  1. Here, here!!!

    Following the baseball strike of 1994, your's truly, a man that ate, breathed and slept baseball every days since he made his first roster in little league at 8 years old, divested himself of the game.

    Here in Philly, we had just been through a rather amazing season, where a bunch of macho, arrogant, spoiled little wankers had gone last to first, and very nearly won their second World Series, but for the incredibly stubborn arrogant thinking of their manager, an asshat best known for smoking on the steps of the dugout during games.

    It was, literally the best of times, the worst of times. It was exciting, unexpected, and yet nearly impossible to embrace the players on the team. They swaggered around, and acted like the fans owed them respect and loyalty. And don't even dare to disagree with a move, or offer and criticism. At the peak of many of their careers, this band of most often underachieving snots seemed to feel the city owed them something.

    It was a feeling not limited to Philadelphia. When these pampered millionaires struck and cancelled the post-season of 1994. I was done. I was not going to shell out any of MY hard earned money to watch these douchies walk through a game that most of us feel they should LOVE to play. I would not ever root for a team again with no heart, with no desire, with no mojo.

    It took nearly tens years before I could feel like I could be a fan again.

    Now I know that you girls look at some of our players as part of the problem, and in fact, I do also wish Jimmy Rollins would shut the F up, at least until he starts playing the game the right way. But I also know that as a fan, your own particular buttwads are never as bad as others might see them. But I can embrace a team that plays the game the right way, never quits, and never takes a play off. Or at least if they do, they man up and admit a mistake.

    This last season, Shane Victorino did not run out an in-field out. It cost the Phillies a run, and the game, and he was called out by fans on it. The next day, he apologized and promised it would never happen again. Would Rollins do that? No way, and it makes him a poster child for what NOT to be as a major league player.

    Give me a good player, one that works hards, puts in practice, and strives to improve, every day, over any great player that simply mails in the numbers. Those good players have the chance to become great, not only because of their talent, but because of the kind of people, the kind of teammates they are. Those are the guys you want to root for. Those are the guys, that when they lose their fight with cancer, you will actually stop and say a little prayer for, even if they played for someone else.

    In Philadelphia, I hated when Carter came to town, but that is more an indication of my respect for the kind of player he was, playing for the stinkin' Mets, than any dislike of how he played.

    Rest in Peace, Kid.