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Carnage Watching 2015

What is this feeling? I can sense an anticipatory twitching about my person, like a half formed fetal twin attached to my nape, awakening from it’s mutant slumber. Oh that’s right… Baseball season is nigh. And as always there is much to look forward to. Topping my personal list is that the Padres will be watchable if not very good. Kris Bryant will debut. MLB.tv, my favorite product on this earth, is no longer running off a stupid plugin that doesn’t work, and they have enabled ballpark overlay as permanent feature. Plus, we can close our eyes tight and sing from the highest rooftops of our hearts “Matt Harvey is coming back!”

But each year also delivers unto us a bouquet of tantalizingly awful ass roses. The 2015 season is shaping up to be especially rife with the potential for carnage. Here is a rundown of the trainwrecks I am most excited about watching unfold this season.

TV Category: Kirk Gibson

Kirk Gibson is going to be a color analyst for the Tigers TV broadcasts this year. The only possible explanation for this miracle is that the executives at Fox Sports Detroit are trolling the world televised sports. More shocking still is that Gibson has been a TV broadcaster before.

I have documented what an ass clown Kirk Gibson is. But just to quickly recap. Kirk Gibson is an arrogant, ignorant brute. Koko the gorilla doing sign language in a picture-in-picture format as a color analyst makes 34% more sense than allowing Kirk Gibson back into the booth, and that’s not just from the perspective of analyzing the content the gorilla or Koko (zing!) would add to the telecast. I’m talking purely about the ability to smush thoughts out of one’s brain. Gibson appears to be on such a devastating amount of pain medication that he barely makes words. Watch that video. I’ll wait for you.

I think we both understand how that sample falls short of asserting the notion that this man belongs on television. I’m going to be watching a lot of Tigers games just for a dose of the lolz.

Stadium Category: Cubs Bleachers

The Cubs are doing everything right on the field but nothing right off it. Last year they added a stupid mascot and a renovation plan that looks like it was created in 1994 (rant here). This year they decided to wait until halfway through the offseason to start knocking down and rebuilding 5,500 bleacher seats, so they won’t be ready until May 11th at the earliest. Even a one week delay would mean the Cubs would play a full quarter of their scheduled home games with 2,000 season ticket holders out on their asses. Expect lots of angry fans, non-stop meaningless updates accompanied by cameras panning over scaffolding, and most of all: sad home run balls orphaned in the hard hat zone.

Stats Category: Dee Gordon

After Dee’s flukey All Star appearance in ’14 the Marlins proved they have not even the most cursory understanding of advanced statistics by leaping at the chance to acquire this most vile regression candidate. Dee was already an insufferably lucky slap hitter with below average defense when he made that fateful All Star team. But it’s what he did after the break that you, dear reader, should be sitting down for, preferably on a toilet, as the following sentence is not for the faint of sphincter. Dee Gordon walked only four times after the All-Star break. Four! That’s almost impossible to do. That’s 1.6% of the time. His BABIP also came crashing back down to earth for short stints after the break, so all told Dee was below average in the second half.

I really hope the Marlins ice their idiot cake and bat him leadoff.

Prospect Category: Maikel Franco

Much to the delight of the other 29 organizations, Ruben Amaro is still employed. As a result they have essentially stockpiled old newspapers so high there is just a path from the stained, threadbare futon to the crusty microwave and the horrifying toilet.

But best of all, because Cody Asche is a below average runner, fielder and hitter (damn, that’s all the things), Maikel Franco will likely be their starting third basemen. I have long felt he is tremendously overrated and now we should get definitive proof. Franco is a 22 year old who swings way too much, which results in him making a ton of bad contact, and he saw his ISO drop at both AA and AAA after temporarily impressing in the low minors. But because the Phillies have no idea what makes good baseball players, they are hyped about him. Let’s watch their hopeful smile morph into a twisted grimace of agony together!

Media Specatacle Category: Alex Rodriguez

Even Ruben Amaro knows that A-Rod is coming back. It’s been covered to a level beyond what is reasonable. But let me just say how excited I am to watch him try to play baseball. This guy is a 39 year old asshole whose body has been ruined by PED use, and he hasn’t played baseball in two years. But he doesn’t understand what that means.

He’s been alone for two years telling himself how great he still is. He says his mission is to come back and hit 109 home runs to overtake Bonds as the all time home run leader. He’s even been making the rounds, apologizing and in his head everyone is totally buying it.

When he gets back and everyone still hates his guts and he is helplessly swinging through 90-mph fastballs down the dick he isn’t going to understand why. He’s going to be awful, confused and frustrated. I can’t wait to see the look on his face. I can’t wait to see how long it takes before he realizes he needs to give up and go home. But best of all, once he does, he won’t. He’ll hang around all useless and depressing for two years because he can’t walk away from money and the Yankees won’t cut him. This is going to be delicious.

Last Straw Category: Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton is the shameless owner of the weakest mind in the game. Every year he comes up with more outrageous excuses for why he’s being an idiot. Let’s recap: Injuries, eyes are too blue, too many energy drinks, quit energy drinks, quit tobacco. Now he’s getting shoulder surgery to repair his AC joint. Despite knowing about the injury last September he and the organization waited until February to make a decision on what to do about it, because sometimes magic things can happen to your bones and cartilage right? Nope.

Now he won’t be ready until around May 1. But I’m sure he won’t use it as an excuse for why he just lazily flaps the bat through the zone regardless of what or where that pitch was, I mean he said so himself, there are no excuses this year.

Pitchers and catchers are reporting soon. Won’t you pop your corn, unfold your lawn chair and sit at the intersection of a broken stoplight with me?

[RA ROWE]

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Reminders to Ruben Amaro: A Compilation

Nyoo-nyoo. Nnnyoo-nyoo. You guys it’s not coming up. I need help me.

I’ve been leaving reminders for Ruben Amaro Jr. on twitter since August. I took some time to compile my favorites. Come! Let us have a chuckle at a total spazatron.

Spreading out Football’s Entrails

What’s that familiar stench?

Sniff sniff… oh boy, looks like it’s Super Bowl time again. Every year I look forward to the Super Bowl because it is almost invariably a glorious rooster tail of diarrhea, a perfect picture of how worthless American Football is. And there is nothing I like better than to do play-by-play of the death of something shameful that people genuinely love. Let’s get straight to the action:

It’s been very well publicized that all but 11 minutes of an NFL broadcast consists of filler shots of standing around, fans, replays and commercials. So.many.commercials. My favorite pie chart in the world has my back on this one.

The idea that American Football is inhumane is also gaining traction in the form of many a brain injury study and an increasingly intelligent discussion and culture surrounding this major problem.

The NFL is simply an exploitative combat demonstration. It ravages it’s players minds and bodies to such an extent that a reasonable schedule of games cannot be played.

Why is that an issue? Because we want to watch the best athletes in the world play more than 16 days out of the year.

In a game like football, where your favorite star plays only half the game, on either offense or defense, and the game action is a total of 11 minutes, nobody actually plays football more than 6 minutes a week. Lolz, six!

Listen, if you can only play a game for 6 minutes, one day a week, for just 16 weeks a year, maybe you don’t have a sport yet. Maybe England got football right the first time.

In an average futbol season, your favorite player is on the pitch 90 minutes a game, 60 times a year. In American Football minutes, that’s the equivalent of 56 seasons. If you don’t feel you’re being swindled by now, you will soon.

If Russell Westbrook played for a playoff team in baseball he’d top 160 games, a basketball playoff team; around 100. And he sure as hell would play for more than 6 measly minutes.

Imagine if LeBron James only played one of every 5 games on the Cavs schedule and then only played 6 minutes before getting yanked off the court. People would be howling for him to get more playing time. But since the NFL is our sacred macho obsession, people laugh when you suggest the format is flawed.

But don’t worry, American Football will die.

American Football, unlike baseball or basketball has no counterculture among the younger generation of people who follow it. There is no intelligent discussion in American Football that rivals the modernity and vibrancy of the dialogue associated with the advanced stats communities, which have sprung up among MLB and NBA fans.

American Football is so saturated with dying macho “virtue” and unquestioning loyalty and science denial that it resembles a religion more than a sport, and lucky for every species on earth, those are all passing ever more swiftly from modern cultures around the globe.

American Football’s most ravenous fans are cavemen, relics of an epoch which celebrated playing through a quality-of-life threatening head injury as an ultimate feat of manliness. Those cavemen will be around for quite a while, but most of us will move on. And without a vital “new school” of thought to take the place of this throng of cock wavers, the cracks will begin to appear.

However, the NFL’s most destructive exodus will occur when, at some point, the players begin to opt out of their horrible conditions. The extremely poor pay compared with other sports, an almost total lack of guaranteed money, the destructive toll the game takes on the players bodies, and the unbelievable appeal of other sports will win out.

Adrian Peterson has said he wished he’d played baseball rather than Brute ball. I suspect many others feel the same way, but aren’t daft enough to say so publicly. Surely former NFL players, who’ve had their bodies and brains dismantled by a short, unprofitable stint in the league must privately advise younger men to reconsider. It’s only a matter of time.

When the players walk out, that is when the sport will truly crumble, because Americans refuse to watch an inferior product. We’re used to the best of the best.

Our baseball, basketball and even hockey league are unrivaled in the world. Conversely, our domestic futbol league, the MLS, has struggled to gain traction because we know it’s an inferior product. It’s glaringly obvious even to a newcomer. I myself became a futbol fan by watching the Premier League, which is widely regarded as the world’s most competitive league top to bottom.

Once American Football has been rinsed of everyone but brain damaged, second rate athletes with no other options, and once our culture has turned away much of the macho bullshit that the NFL feeds off, the only thing that will be left of the NFL will be owners and television executives clinging to something that used to make them lots and lots of money. Sounds a lot like cable to me, and we all know how that story ends.

It might take 30 years, but turn on the Super Bowl next Sunday and I guarantee you’ll see just how much water the NFL has already taken on.

For an extended look at how the Super Bowl is not about football, read my Super Bowl Preview from last year.

[RA ROWE]

A Guide to Sitting Next to Me at a Baseball Game

When I go to a baseball game I like to get there right as the gates open so I can beat the lines for the parking, the gate, the concessions and maybe the bathroom. Then I get to enjoy the king of all nostalgic, meditative novelties: batting practice. This part of the baseball day is peaceful and sunny and joyous.

The problems start when all the other people show up.

In general, other people are some of my least favorite people, no matter the setting. But from the moment they invade my temperate baseball zone with their awful garbage to the minute I get into my car, where I can freely talk shit about them, I can imagine no being worse.

I have long despaired about this, but then I realized: there is simply no literature available regarding how to comport oneself in my presence at a baseball game. I am here today to solve that problem.

A Guide to Sitting Next to Me at a Baseball Game

 

Lesson 1: Sitting Next to, or In Front of Me

Don’t be huge vertically. Don’t be huge horizontally. That’s basic.

But also don’t do anything to make yourself effectively larger than you are. That means stop shifting side to side. I want to watch the flight of the ball from the pitcher’s hand to the catcher’s glove without having to bob and weave with a human slalom goal. I’ll gladly lance your hemorrhoid with a peanut shell between innings if it helps you sit still like a big boy.

Also, if you’re sitting next to me, under no circumstance should you ever touch me. There is a buffer! The buffer is the only thing that separates us from the animals. Respect the buffer or move down a species.

And don’t take advantage of the fact that I am a decent human being and will actually attempt to honor the buffer, regardless of how unreasonable your behavior becomes. Stop thinking of claiming the arm rest and a third of my leg room as a victory for your comfort and realize it’s an act of terrorism, you insane pig.

Most importantly, unless there is an exciting play on the field, or you have to let someone by, don’t stand up during play. Since it’s clear you have no idea where you are, let me remind you. It’s called a stadium. One definition of the word “stadium” is:

A place where there are a bunch of people trying to see something. 

You’re blocking someone who is intensely passionate about how exciting and beautiful and infinite this game is and in so doing, your are robbing them of a moment of unusually pure joy, just so you can see if the churro guy is coming this way.

Standing up during play is the pinnacle of being self unaware. How did you even survive to the age of 36 if you’re this oblivious. How did you convince someone to marry you? How do you have kids? How have they survived under your supervision? Evolution is drunk.

Lesson 2: If You Decide to Talk Baseball

Don’t.

In other words: “do not.”

I know more about baseball than you know about your own life. You know how I estimated that? Because you chose to wear sandals to a baseball game and then spilled someone else’s beer on your bare feet. Yeah… that’s where you are.

I know that being at a baseball game makes you excited about baseball, and that’s good. But let’s clear some things up.

No, they shouldn’t try to bunt him from second to third. You know why (besides the fact that bunting is for old people)… because there’s one out already. That means they’d have to get a two out base hit to score him. But he’d score on a base hit from where he is already, and two shots at a base hit is twice as good as one. Plus the pitcher is up next.

And no, Huston Street didn’t get traded because the owner is cheap. He’s the best reliever in baseball by WPA (see how you don’t even know what that is?) and the Padres have no chance of competing for a playoff spot while he’s under contract. That means he is useless to them, so they got a package of prospects that one day could be a part of a winner. I know, having more than a one step plan for winning the World Series makes your boner soften.

And no, ticket prices aren’t higher because they have to pay the players more. In fact, player salaries represented a much larger share of total revenue in 2002 than they do now. Down to 40% from 56%.

No, they shouldn’t trade for Ryan Howard! He is not a good hitter. He is not a good fielder. He is not a good baserunner. That’s… all of the things, and yeah he’s bad at them. How is it possible that you can still even speak intelligibly after being in the coma for four years?

In the even that you just can’t keep your sewer janitor mouth away from your baseball thoughts, admit that you don’t know what you’re talking about and try asking questions. That I would support. In fact, I would love to provide some answers.

Lesson 3: If A Ball is Hit in the Air

It happens multiple times every game. Someone on the home team loops a pop-up to short and half the stadium shoots up to their feet screaming “go, ball! Get out!”

I know you’re all freaked out on Bud Light and nitrites, and I know that your hope for a homer has a massive upper hand against your minimal grasp on reality in this situation so I’m not baffled. Let’s face it, if there is one thing I understand, it’s your failures. But the thing that gets me so incensed about this phenomena is the total lack of accountability afterward.

Let’s try something new. After you embarrass yourself, acknowledge how stupid what you just did was. And by all means, feel free to estimate the distance between the fence and where the ball landed. Something like this should suffice:

“God, I am a moron. Look where that landed. How could I have possibly thought that would be a homerun? I mean, I should be able to tell when a ball is about to travel 300 feet shorter than the fence shouldn’t I? I’m gonna try to figure out how to improve myself in this respect.”

Lesson 4: If You’re Not Into Baseball

You paid to be here. You bought a hat. You left work a little early. You rushed here through traffic on a week night. There are people performing nearly impossible feats in front of you. All of that adds up to me assuming you’re interested in baseball. And yet, you’re clearly not.

The loudest you cheered was during the condiment races. Then you booed a guy for knocking the beach ball down to the level below ours while, during the 7th inning of a one run game, the visiting team walked the bases loaded.

Is Major League Baseball just the stuff that happens between scoreboard games and your turn to do the wave? Is the hat shuffle so entertaining to you that you are willing to put up with an extraordinary amount of peripheral bullshit just to experience it? If so, tell me more about your head trauma while I escort you out of the stadium.

(For an extended diatribe about the rise of distractions at baseball stadiums, go here.)

Lesson 5: If You Are Somehow Decent

If you are a piece of rat shit, I will forget you in 48 hours, but if you somehow emerged from this miserable world a courteous human being that can manage to make my experience at the ballpark feel more communal, you will earn a plaque in my emotional hall of fame.

I once sat behind 5 guys who were really knowledgable and clear thinking about the Padres. They were making references to Archi Cianfrocco and having informed discussions about the trajectory of the club. It was so refreshing. They sat down the whole game, too. That was 4 years ago and I still think of them all the time.

I know you’re out there, unicorns. I hope I see you soon.

[RA ROWE]

Medica’s Memoirs & Venable’s Nickname

About 50% of all words spoken between my father and I are about baseball. About 85% of that is Padres baseball. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Many good nuggets come out of those conversations. My day and my Padres baseball experience at large have benefitted tremendously. The past couple weeks have produced some fruit, which should certainly be digitally preserved forever.

Ghostwriting Tommy Medica’s Memoir

My dad and I went to the Arizona Fall League last year where you can sit right behind the on-deck circle for seven dollars and watch some of the game’s best prospects zero in on future stardom. You may also find you have the opportunity to overhear Tommy Medica shooting the shit with his shady ass friend. We did both.

Medica came off as a 30-pack-a-night kind of guy. In case you’ve never seen Tommy Medica interviewed, he sounds like any other athlete, but he has this look in his eyes like a dehydrated gorilla on the brink of death. There just doesn’t appear to be a lot going on up there. But then again, you can’t have a ton on your mind if you want to hit a 98 mile an hour fastball, so he’s just uniquely prepared to do his job. We speculate he is a genius but that the 30-pack is employed to suppress his complex theories on the meaning of life and keep his mind whisper-quiet at all times.

During a recent Medica hot streak I expressed the hope that he has a long and storied career, not just because I root for the Padres, but because I want to ghostwrite his memoir “Dumber Than My Bat.”

Will Venable’s New Nickname

Will Venable is a favorite topic in frustrated times. His swing mechanics are like the Middle East. His hands are Israel and his lower half is Palestine. They are never in agreement, they have never gone the same direction for long. There are moments of progress followed by long, disturbing patches of the wretched, monotonous turmoil we are accustomed to.

This year my dad pointed out something interesting about Venable.

He was touted as being “raw” coming up, back when it was viewed as a plus that he hadn’t played much baseball coming out of Princeton. And for the first few years, this seemed to properly explain his on-field flailing. But Venable has been in the league for parts of seven seasons now and every year he goes through a long, awful stretch where he looks like he’s just getting used to the big leagues for the first time.

Will Venable, you are “The Eternal Rookie,” and we are “The Really Fucking Sick of it.”

[RA ROWE]

Super Bowl Preview

A portrait of the author in his fortress of baseball

A portrait of the author in his fortress of baseball

If you don’t really like music, or care about the possibility of it’s function as a cultural document, and you just want to get midnight-gutter-nap drunk and shake that ass, then pop music is your answer. If you’d rather watch millions of dollars worth of shitty advertisements, a pop star who’s past their prime jumping around in a spray of fireworks, while a bunch of backup dancers in black-light makeup grind against a sea of invisible dongs, while you eat ground meat and fried potatoes, but you want to pretend all of that is somehow about football, then tune in to the Super Bowl this Sunday.

The average Super Bowl party attendee has more interest in cheese sauce than the outcome of the game. Most people watching the Super Bowl (or any football game really) don’t care about strategy, or a psychological showdown between men, or a game’s place in the history of a city, or Peyton Manning as an example of how perfectionism does not necessarily have to equate to self-destructive obsession (as in the case of a Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods). They just want to scream for a color.

American Football fandom is about pageantry, just like International Football (Soccer) is. Just replace singing songs, rioting and scarves with chanting “D-fense,” eating and hats that look like cheese. Yes, there are some people who actually engage with football’s unique brand of incredibly complex strategy, the subtle chess match deep within the game which is the closest football has to it’s own special virtue. But, unless crudely paraphrasing what little they have heard commentators explain over the sound made by crunching nachos resonating through their skulls, most fans don’t engage with strategy. They are solely consumed with the barbaric thrombo of testosterone and ego that are the game’s poisonous byproducts, which leave our culture mutilated in it’s cock wake.

This mania reaches it’s height at the annual Championship of American Football, the Super Bowl. And how fitting they call it “super” as I haven’t heard the word used in a non-sarcastic way since circa 1992. Just keep in mind that this game is not about people or sport, it’s just a lot of dopes taking a break from watching reality shows to feast on garbage while pretending they are part of some basic approximation of a thing they heard about. It’s a commercial for a diversion. It’s about creating such a quantity of hype and build-up and ritual that the game is just a part of the static that fills our lives. It is the cultural equivalent of packing popcorn. It’s the day before Monday.

[RA ROWE]

The Only Great Scorebook

The Eephus League Scorebook (image: eephusleague.com)

The Eephus League Scorebook (image: eephusleague.com)

Keeping score is somewhere between a rite of passage and a badge of honor for any serious baseball fan. There is a secret code involved that all scorekeepers learn. Once one progresses to the level of veteran, a scorekeeper generally expands upon this basic code with symbols and notations of their own. The act of charting the game is somewhat meditative. There is a singularity of focus, which makes one a conduit for the game for the span of each half inning.

Conjoined with the act of scorekeeping is the scorebook. The scorebook is a memory bank. It is a chart of the game’s actions, but it’s great strength is to recall the game’s stillness as well. Looking back at old games recalls the people and the time that the game lived alongside.

But almost all scorebooks are ugly as shit. First off, for something that’s supposed to be portable the things are honkin’. Some have 15 batters, some have only 9 innings. Many have a ton of unnecessary columns and rows for keeping stats like caught stealing and sacrifice flies. And they all feature a tragically hideous cover, bound by a plastic spiral. Well, all but one.

The tidy little scoresheet (image: eephusleague.com)

The tidy little scoresheet (image: eephusleague.com)

The scorebooks from Eephus League are attractive. Bethany Heck ( @EephusLeague ), their creator, did a phenomenal job. They are actually portable, as they cut out all the extra batters and moved some stats summaries out of the game section. They even managed to squeeze in a 10th and 11th inning. Plus, for the tactile aware, the paper feels terrific to write on.

The Pre-game Sheet (image: eephusleague.com)

The Pre-game Sheet (image: eephusleague.com)

They also feature a page which precedes each game, wherein the scorekeeper fills in who sang the national anthem, or denotes the weather and their seat number for the day. This adds a lot to the value of the scorebook as a document, since you are drinking in these details of your surroundings and building a memory. So later, as you flip through the old scorebook, that memory is richly and easily evoked.

Eephus League also includes both a detailed fold out and a quick reference card, for teaching the beginner how to score. As someone who has been keeping score since around age 5, I can’t tell how effective these are, but they seem extremely clear, and are certainly attractive and well organized.

Oh, and you can buy them here. They also to put out a more traditional full-size book in July of 2013, which looks great as well. You can get the scoop on “The Half-liner” here.

It’s nice to look forward to carrying something attractive to the yard or having something of quality to keep score on at home, as I wait for the season to start. It’s even nicer to know that other people out there are deeply in love with this little corner of the game.

[RA ROWE]

Meaningless Nonsense from the Cubs

The one redeeming quality of the Cubs used to be that Wrigley was pure. The fanciest thing about it was Old Style, which if you’ve ever had Old Style you know is as far from fancy as craft singles are from Iberico.

Now this:

Clark the soulless bear | courtesy of the Chicago Cubs

Clark the soulless bear | courtesy of the Chicago Cubs

Is there anything more meaningless than a mascot? If you’re going to add distractions invented in the eighties and injure something as pure as Wrigley Field, shouldn’t you get something out of it?

The Cubs claim to have based this decision on many survey answers they received to the tune of people wanting more family friendly entertainment. But just because people say they want something doesn’t mean they will actually pay for it. And aren’t there larger impediments to family atmosphere at the stadium. Does a short sweaty guy in a bear suit 30 sections over turn the drunk Chicagoans sitting next to you into puppets that sing about the alphabet?

There are also some really interesting aspects of the renovations the Cubs got approved in 2013. Let’s revisit what they plan to do. Let me just flip through these here.

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

Oh cool backwards plates in the batting cages, weird, but at least fans don’t see that. Also, those guys are really crowding the plate and that water cooler is on the ground. Does Anthony Rizzo have to hoist it up every time Starlin Castro wants a drink. Hot tip: if you are doing an artist’s rendering with the purpose of getting baseball fans excited, put someone in the room that gives a shit about baseball. It’s obvious to baseball fans when that doesn’t happen and it telegraphs the fact that this has nothing to do with baseball. Woooooopsies!

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

Moving on. So let’s say you can do whatever you want for new restaurants and you have Wrigley Field as a potential backdrop. Does it make the most sense to build an Appelbee’s with windows facing away from the interior of the park? Hmm, table for zero please!

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

Oh and how about a Buffalo Wild Wings dungeon?

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

rendering from wrigleyfield.com

Alright let’s head into the stands, and- wait, what? I know I’m at Wrigley Field you morons, you don’t need to build enormous signs to remind me all game and blind the catcher on throws from the right field corner. It says the name of the stadium on the outside of the stadium. What does this add?

And hey now, a video board. Boy I’m glad you got one, now we can block some of those rooftop seats and I can stare into screen glow instead of engaging with my surroundings or loved ones. Mental sedation uber alles.

I don’t think I need to offer any further explanation when I say the Cubs are out of touch and that Wrigley Field has been fully slain for no baseball reasons. Before you leave during the seventh inning stretch, could you please do the wave and the YMCA while they fire the organist. Oh and don’t forget your bobblehead!

[RA ROWE]

Juan Francisco Plays All Nine Positions in D.R.

Juan Francisco, according to Fangraphs, was over 16 runs below average at first base and third base last season. Two positions is okay, but a lot of guys can do that. Like almost all the guys, in my estimation.

But upon navigating to ESPN3.com in a baseball deprived act of ultimate desperation phase 4, I began watching a replay of a game between Aguilas Cibaenas and Tigres del Licey from December 12th and discovered that Juan Francisco has traveled to the Dominican Republic to play winter ball.

More importantly, I discovered that the reason Juan Francisco has spent close to all his frequent flyer miles to get to “the D.R.” is to learn the other seven baseball positions. 

He has been so successful in his Oquendian pursuit that Tigres manager Mike Guerrero started him at every position in the game I so hungrily slurped from the trashcan bottom of the baseball internet.

Behold, I submit the following electronic slab of evidence for your amazement.

Evidence!

Evidence!

 

[RA ROWE]

Bud Selig Can’t Hear You

Bud Selig is having trouble hearing you. And he want’s to help you out, friend. But he can’t quite make it out, whatever it is you’re saying.

i still cant um

You’re not even facing Bud Selig. Don’t walk away while you’re saying that to Bud Selig.

idiot says what

Wait a minute. The water is running. Turn off the water and then come in here and tell Bud Selig whatever it is you’re trying to tell him.

one more time

We’re in an open air situation and Bud Selig is doing the best he can.

yeah i uh

The guy behind Bud Selig is talking louder than you. He is trying to block him out now. Please repeat what you were saying to Bud Selig.

come again

Hold- hold on… A motorcycle is passing. A mo- I said a motorcycle is passing! Okay it’s far enough away now. Please repeat your question to Bud Selig.

wuzzat

Turn down the radio! Who even listens to the fucking radio anymore?

close up

Just let Bud Selig come a little closer so he can hear you. That’s it just whisper in ol’ Bud Selig’s ear there…

These are valid possibilities, in my mind, as to why Bud Selig might be straining to hear the words that you offer to him across the air. My wife prefers another explanation, an explanation which I will present to you below as it was presented to me.

“The ‘lluminati.”

 

 

[RA ROWE]

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