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Friday, May 22, 2009
After stirring the pot over at NBC with the Chief Wahoo stuff this morning, I exchanged a few emails with regular commenter Sara K. The abridged gist:
Sara: You know, eventually, you will have to answer for the Tomahawk Chop.
To be clear, I have no intention of abandoning the Braves. We're like an old married couple. We've been together too long to change now, even if it isn't always pleasant. The Braves have learned to tolerate my snoring, and I have learned to tolerate their gas. Familiarity and routine are not the most inspiring reasons to stay together, but they are somewhat underrated and can be enough to carry the day long after the flame has died out. We bicker. We're passive-aggressive. We aren't always nice to one another. But at this point it would take an infidelity-level event to split us in two. The closest thing to that I can think of is hiring Dusty Baker or something, and unless I've fundamentally misjudged my significant other, that's just not going to happen.
But like anyone in a blah marriage, my eye wanders from time to time. I imagine what my life would be like if I was -- dare I say it? -- unfaithful. What would attract me? With whom could I make it work? No harm in looking, right? It's not cheating just to look . . .
Yankees: Never. Not even on a drunken fling.
Red Sox: For all of the Boston-New York drama, they both look the same to the rest of the country, and honey, you're not as hot as you think you are.
Orioles: They have more going for them than you might think. History. A nice ballpark. Enough years in the wilderness to where any residual cockiness has long been beaten out of them. If Peter Angelos were out of the picture, I could see myself swooping in.
Blue Jays: Sorry, when I used to tell the other kids that I had a girlfriend from Canada, I always placed her in Montreal. Just sounded more exotic. And I like things natural -- no fake grass.
Rays: I'd feel like I was robbing the cradle. I couldn't go for anyone without some history and experience, ya know? That rules out all of the 1993-present expansion teams.
Tigers: Ah, the old flame. Sure, it's been a long time since we were together -- and God, were we young! -- but there are so many reasons why it could work again. Still, I'm hesitant to stir up old emotions. I can't escape the fact that I abandoned them once, and I can't help but think we'd spend all of our time together waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think it would work, but we'd have to promise to never bring up the past.
White Sox: History. A great city. I could see us having fun together.
Twins: The Twins are a home wrecker of a franchise (see, 1987 ALCS; 1991 WS) and I'll have nothing to do with them.
Indians: Inconceivable unless they drop that . . .MAN . . .they insist on hanging around.
Royals: Another possibility -- nice park, great history, very underrated city and some likeable players. But there's a lot of High profile competition for their affections, and I don't feel like having to prove myself all the time, so I'm leaning no.
Rangers: They've always been a mess. They have a serious drug history and some questionable associations. It's only recently that they seem to be getting themselves together. I'd want them to prove to me that they can be healthy and stable for a long time before I'd be willing to commit.
Angels, A's, Mariners: I could see it happening with any of these three, but our schedules are so different that I don't know when we'd be able to make time to see one another.
Mets, Phillies, Marlins: There's too much negative history here for any of these three to be serious contenders. Besides, they're far too close to home. If it was a mere fling, there's a good chance we'd get caught. Even if I went with one of them following a breakup, seeing the ex 18 times a year would make things far too awkward. Pass.
Nationals: some of the previous item's concerns apply, but they've always been less objectionable then the others, even back when they were using their maiden name. But when I look in the mirror, I know I can do better, and shacking up with these losers would be a serious blow to my self-esteem in the long run.
Cubs: Another attractive contender in terms of history, location and all of the rest. Plus, hooking up with a team with a national superstation would be a nice symbolic F.U. to the Braves in that their superstation is what caused them to catch my eye in the first place. "You used to treat me right," I'd be saying to them. "I didn't leave you; you left me."
Cardinals: Also high on the list. They're easy to resist now because I really hate their old man, but if he was out of the picture, there's no telling what we'd do. Wait, this is starting to sound like a film noir: "Tony, the reason I got the extra life insurance for you is so that I'd be protected. You WANT me to be protected, don't you? Now hurry up and sign the papers. We have a train to catch . . . ."
Brewers, Reds, Pirates: All are just about equal in terms of attractiveness, but for different reasons. The Pirates may look bad on the surface, but they're nearby and they have a nice pad, and I know they'd give me their undivided attention. The Brewers really know how to party, so I'm sure I'd have a great time with them. People have been trying to fix me up with the Reds for years. I have my reservations, but sometimes when you hang around someone for so long they just start to grow on you and things just sort of happen, ya know?
Astros: I liked them much more back in their wild youth. Now that they're all corporate and boring I have no attraction to them whatsoever.
Diamondbacks, Rockies: See the Rays' comment.
Dodgers, Giants: I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've had their number in my speed dial for a long time. We've hung out. We've done things together. But I swear, NOTHING HAPPENED. I'm not saying that nothing could EVER happen, though . . .
UPDATE: I forgot the Padres! I guess that tells you just how high they rate with me.
Again, let me be clear: I'm happily married, and no matter how bad things get, we're determined to make things work because we truly love each other. All I'm saying is that if -- IF -- something crazy were to ever happen, don't be surprised if I found myself drunk dialing the Tigers, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, or Dodgers.
And don't you DARE judge me.
Remember that billowed-sail, retractable-roof waterfront ballpark the Rays proposed a couple of years ago? Not happening:
There will not be a ballpark on the downtown waterfront. The Tampa Bay Rays say they have altogether abandoned thoughts of an open-air stadium at the site of Al Lang Field.
You'd have to think Tampa. Or at the very least, farther up the peninsula towards Clearwater or something. If not, you're basically looking at Orlando or staying put, aren't you?
Sorry to be late jumping back over here, but these people in suits carrying legal files seem to think I have nothing more important to do than help them with their work.
A scene from Yankee Stadium:
The combination of food and security collided inside the Stadium Wednesday night. This had nothing to do with high-profile broadcasters or players' wives. This was a rebellion of the rich. In that expensive area downstairs - the one with the empty seats - there are seemingly more waiters and waitresses, serving free food, than there are patrons.
Twins 20, White Sox 1: Query: did Peavy reject the trade before, during, or after this massacre? Probably doesn't matter. Joe Mauer hits a grand slam, two doubles and drives in six, but I think the most amazing thing about this game is that despite all of the runs and baserunners, it was done in less than three hours. Why can't Boston and New York finish a 5-3 game in that time?
Yankees 7, Orioles 4: For two extraordinary weeks in May, the New York Yankees, for whatever perverse reason, began playing baseball with joy and verve and poetry. They took two out of three from Toronto, four straight from Minnesota, and kicked the holy sh*t out of Baltimore in a three game series. They were in demand all over town--and Yankee Stadium, which kept giving up dingers, was approaching the major league record . . . though I told nobody.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1: So we're going back to the Red Sox-Yankees again this year, huh? Oh well, at least Tampa Bay and Toronto served as nice diversions for a year or so. Game story: "Jason Bay set a Red Sox record with his 11th straight homer with runners on base." So we're really going to play up records that are based on factors that are utterly out of the record holder's control like whether someone got on base in front of him? You know, just because it can be determined that person X did thing Y more times than anyone else doesn't mean we are required to make a big deal out of it. I've been watching baseball for 30 years and I don't think I've ever heard someone identify such a thing as an accomplishment, let alone refer to someone holding a record for it.
Rockies 9, Braves 0: Jeff Francoeur was 2-for-3 but the rest of the Braves were 2-for-28. When, oh when, will Francoeur get some help?! He's but one man, people, and he can't be expected to be the only one to show up day-in-day-out. Gosh! In other news, I should have predicted that Aaron Cook would pitch a shutout this week, because I deactivated him on my Scoresheet team in order to make room for John Lackey. In other other news, I'm probably not playing any kind of fantasy or sim baseball ever again after this season because it's making me care about crap I never really cared about before and, truth be told, never needed to care about. Like how Aaron Cook does on any given night.
Rays 6, Athletics 5: The game was delayed for 20 minutes in the first inning due to a power outage caused by a nearby lightning strike. Dallas Braden was on the mound. He wasn't happy: "I was bitter to quite bitter about it. There's not much you can really do when the lights go out. Played catch, tried not to get struck by lightning or whatever was going on out there. Nice state, Florida." I'm not a big fan of Florida myself, but Braden plays for a team who had a World Series disrupted by a freakin' earthquake once, so maybe he shouldn't go yelling at Mother Nature like that.
Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 3: The second game of Wednesday's doubleheader ended at 2AM yesterday morning. I wonder if any of the Dbacks just stayed at the ballpark. Either way, given the marathon the day before, this was likely to be a game that came down to who had more cannon fodder in the bullpen, and the answer was Arizona.
Nationals 5, Pirates 4: It's not like the Nats were going to lose forever. In other news, remember when everyone declared Andy LaRoche dead last month? Well, he's 10 for his last 22 with nine RBI and is sporting a .302/.389/.444 line for May.
Indians 8, Royals 3: Game story "Greinke handed a 3-2 lead to Horacio Ramirez starting the seventh and the left-hander immediately got in trouble." There's no part of that sentence -- Greinke having a lead, Ramirez immediately getting into trouble upon entering the game -- that wasn't 100% predictable when we all woke up yesterday morning. I'd have been less surprised if Ramirez had been magically transformed into a right-hander before the game than I would have been if he had come in and actually held the lead.
Phillies 12, Reds 5: Chase Utley (3-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI) led the charge, but the whole top of the Phillies' lineup did damage, with Rollins, Utley and Ibanez going a combined 9-15 with 8 RBI.
Tigers 4, Rangers 3: Texas was riding high coming into this series and then just ran into a buzzsaw. And Edwin Jackson out-mans Nolan Ryan's guys by throwing 132 pitches in eight innings to Kevin Millwood's 121.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 1: Chicago manages two measly runs in the course of dropping three games to the Cardinals. And they get to face Jake Peavy tomorrow night. If he shuts the Cubbies down too, White Sox fans watching from home may be a little more sympathetic to the guy.
Padres 3, Giants 2: Tim Lincecum (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 10K) gets the Johan Santana treatment as his teammates do nothing to help him be more awesomer. And for the life of me I can't decide what the Padres picking up Tony Gwynn was all about besides pleasing his old man and placating the dumbest part of the fan base, but he did draw a walk and scored the winning run in his first game in San Diego.
Angels 3, Mariners 0: The M's offense is truly offensive.
Brewers 4, Astros 3: Cecil Cooper and Fat Elvis were ejected after arguing a close call at the plate in the fifth. Afterwords, Cooper had this to say "Tonight, overall, we got shafted by some poor umpiring. It was a bad job of umpiring." I think it's one thing to say that it was bad umpiring, but using the term "shafted" is probably going to get him a fine, I'd suspect. It implies intent or malice, doesn't it?