Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blue Marlins? No, Marlins Blew.

12/5/08 – I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
- The day, the Yankees died!

Post #32 Topic: Ain’t No Such Thing as Halfway Crooks

For any new readers, allow me to update you on one of the central themes of this here blog. I have a personal vendetta against the President of the Florida Marlins. While I acknowledge the seemingly awkward nature of such vendettm (plural of vendetta, GOSH!), there is in fact some method to the madness, and the story goes something like this:

Several weeks ago my wonderful law school presented students with the opportunity to attend a “question and answer session” with the President of the Florida Marlins. However, this question and answer session was as legit as a Shawn Kemp offspring. Instead, the event consisted of the owner of the Marlins chastising me in front of my classmates for 30 minutes. Of course I was honored to be the target of such a little man’s enormous anger, but I assure you that his aggression was not unprovoked (for that would be totally out of my character).

After starting his presentation by insulting the Mets as a franchise (me team and my baseball bloodline) only one day after the finale of their historic collapse, SOMEONE needed to stand up for all that is great in baseball (the Mets). So I raised my hand and said (amongst other legal jargon which you lay person are too lay to understand), “don’t you think that 35 million dollars is an awful lot to spend on the Mets farm system?”

Well I was wrong with my statement and today I apologize for it. The Marlins aren’t the Mets farm system. Rather, they have effectively become ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’s farm system. Hence the name of today’s post.

There is no such thing as halfway crooks. You never steal half a pack of TRIPLE MAGNUM condoms. You never steal one sleeve of a sweatshirt. You never steal your best friend’s girlfriend’s ass but not her personality, and you never steal a look at the sexy girl in your Con Law class with only eye. You are either a crook or not; never can you be a half-way crook. The Detroit Tigers are the embodiment of crooks in one of the few areas of professionalism where crookdom is rewarded substantially. The Detroit Tigers are 100% crook. But baseball law says that the Marlins shall provide all other teams with their talent, and the statute survives constitutional muster (the Marlins have become a suspect class, but the rest of baseball has a compelling interest in destroying this franchise and the means are narrowly tailored to achieve these ends)

I love baseball off-season… almost more than I love the baseball season itself. The baseball season is long and arduous, and predictions never prove righteous or foolish until the last several weeks of the regular season. The off-season is fast-moving, exciting, unpredictable, often shocking and simulates jumping from Tundra, to Rain forest, to Taiga, to Plains and back again in a matter of moments (ever changing landscape). One moment the Marlins are the worst team in the East, the next they’re the worst in the NL, the next they’re the worst baseball team in Florida (Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida Southern, Central Florida, North-Southern Tallahassee State Tech, etc, etc, etc…). One minute Johan Santana is a Yankee, the next a Red Sox, the next he’s playing for Bobby V. in Okinawa.

I love the feeling of standing up in the library in search of a baseball fan willing to discuss how ridiculous the Rangers are going to be when the sign Alex Rodriguez… I love looking at my phone waiting for it to ring, as if I were an agent waiting for the next offer for my star client when in reality I know its just my friend in Houston telling me that Kaz Matsui is going to restore the Astros to mediocrity!!! (Heilman and Milledge for Oswalt? Done!). And I love hearing my friend, “The Dirty Dog ©” tell me his updated world series predictions every five minutes. To quote this canine constitutioner… WOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW!

But most of all I love to see the Yankees given no option but to fall beneath 2nd fiddle in a league in which both they and their fans have come to expect nothing short of domination. Well misery loves company, and thanks to the Tigers and the Red Sox off-season, the 2007 Yankees will soon be joined by the 2008 Yankees as co-mayors of disappointment city, co-trustees of the embarrassment fund, co-presidents of belowparville and co-principles of Bitchesoftheredsox High.

But I’ve spent enough time mashing my keys talking about Johan “don’t call me Johon” Santana. Lets do some Tiger-chat cause theyrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre (going to be) GGGGRRRRRRRRREAT!

The most common rebuttal to this presumption is that the Tigers mortgaged their future to bring in Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Before I re-rebut, allow me to make some convincing arguments in favor of the dominance that these two will bring to the AL Central.

Miguel Cabrera: 24 years old; less than 8 mill a year; career batting average of .313 and slugging % of .542; 34, 26, 33 and 33 home runs over the past four years, not one during which he accumulated less than 110 RBI’s; hasn’t missed more than 4 games since his rookie year (when the Marlins won the world series). Miguel Cabrera is the best (not most valuable, clearly different qualification and a title that belongs to David Wright) 3B in baseball… A-Rod is a primadonna, not a 3B.

Dontrelle Willis: did not care to play baseball last year. How else do you explain career highs in E.R.A., losses, runs given up, walks and hits, while career lows in Wins, K’s, CG’s, SHO’s, IRA’s and LOL’s. We’re talking about a 25 year old power pitcher who is entering his prime, will be supported by one of the game’s best catchers ever, will have the backing of a freakishly potent offense, and only 2 years ago went 22-10, struck out 170, walked but 55, gave up a meager 11 HR’s, and finished with an E.R.A. of 2.63. It is not a coincidence that these numbers collapsed this past season. Dontrelle knew his team wasn’t concerned with fielding a winner, so why should he feel compelled to fight the powers that be? (Here we apply the rationality review and apply deference to Willis’s decision that playing hard in Miami was simply not a worthwhile expenditure of his energy streater v. little). In that situation, not even Spike Lee would Do The Right Thing.

The Tigers are not an old team. Nor would they have been had they not acquired these two steeds. Todd Jones is 39, Kenny Rogers is 43, Pudge is 36 and Gary Sheffield is 39, but other than Kenny Rogers, none of these guys have shown any signs of slowing down. Nor will any burden be placed upon them that would compel them to falter. Not while Magglio Ordonez – 33, Jacque Jones – 32, Edgar Renteria, Carlos Guillen, and Placido Palanco – 32 and Curtis Granderson - 26 are holding the weight. As for their pitchers, where age catches up with a player more quickly: Zumaya – 23, Verlander – 24, and Jeremy Bonderman – 25… and if you don’t know, now you know ____. The Tigers are by no means pulling into Nazareth, feelin’ bout half past dead.

So all of you up and coming Peter Gammons out there who say they gave up six prospects and are going to be too old best hold your horses. First of all, do you think the GM’s don’t know how old their players are? Second, do you think any team has 6 homegrown players in their lineup, or rather, has space to insert 6 prospects? Do you think any team would empty entire their entire cupboard of prospects? Do you think that a GM doesn’t know where his true gems lie and can’t sneakily keep such assets while instead working trades off the hype that other more known prospects have built up (Joba Chamberlain was an unknown until last Thursday, figuratively speaking)? And do you think that there’s a GM in the league that can’t outsmart the Marlins’ Brass? If my intuition serves me correct I’d imagine that the Marlins management creamed themselves envisioning six players, which could only have been better if they got seven.

Prospects or not, the Detroit Tigers are crooks. As of now their roster shapes up like this: Brandon Inge at 1st, Placido Palanco at 2nd, Edgar Renteria at short, Miguel Cabrera at 3rd, Curtis Granderson in center, Jacques Jones in left, Magglio Ordonez in right and Gary Sheffield in DH (which means he will be and stay healthy, and you can be sure he didn’t flush all of his HGH). Some fat dude will be playing catcher but if all turns out well he’ll have a decent season. With Bonderman, Verlander and Willis as their top three, the American League has become a dangerous playground… a railroad turn-table if you will.

The AL Central is now baseball’s best division… BY KILOMETERS. White Sox and Tigers and Indians oh my… and Twins. And if the Royals are the only team willing to Sign Andruw Jones and have already added Jose Guillen, still have David DeJesus, Mike Sweeney and young stud Alex Gordon, we can assume that they will win a few more games than the respectable 69 they won just last year. The White Sox have already improved, the Indians are young and will get better, and Santana or not the Twins are poised to add a star pitcher (Lester, Bucholzs, Kennedy or Hughes) plus a utility outfielder (Cabrera or Crisp) and top ten prospect (Ellsbury or Tabata). Throw Delmon Young into that equation and you have a team that is drastically improved.

What does it all mean DCMSG? It means that there is a lot more pressure on the Yankees (assuming Santana goes to the Sox giving them the 2 best pitchers in baseball) to win the AL East, since we can assume that the wildcard is destined to come from the Bible Belt.

Who stole the Marlins dignity from the Marlins dignity jar? Who me? Yes you! Couldn’t be! Then who. THE TIGERS STOLE THE MARLINS DIGNITY FROM THE MARLINS DIGNITY JAR! And like a double bacon-cheeseburger, the Marlins dignity came with a side of the Yankees swallowing their pride… HOOGAH!

Other Notes

O.J MAAAAAAAAAAAAAYO, is tired of cutting Biology, let him play in the NBA for free.

Why do people say “Don’t get me wrong”. Unless you mean the opposite of what you say, having not said anything before saying Don’t get me wrong, I probably will take your only statement as being solely representative of your feelings… jerk.

When Anderson Varejao is your savior you know one of two things. You’re either the Marlins, or you need a new cheese heroin dealer.

Hardees, a fast-food chain everywhere in the country but NY has invented thee (the extra “E” highlights the exclusiveness of the otherwise bland the) best sandwich. It is a Phili Cheese-Steak in between two extra pieces of bread sandwiched in between a double bacon chees-burger. Sheyit.

AOL is the new g-chat. This means that G-chat is the old AOL and is therefore vintage, and is therefore way sweeter. But then again, new is the new vintage. I’m still not sure what it all means.


NEXT POST: How I invented P.T.I.

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