Image via Aeryssports.com.
Image via Aeryssports.com.
David Roth: This has been a rough week for me, David. I was very close to getting off this stupid freelance hamster-wheel once and for all, ready to be done with all the hustling for $75 paydays and everything, and then I discovered that Yunel Escobar stole my idea for Homophobic Eye Black Stickers. Now my apartment is full of boxes of Adam and Eve Not Adam Eaton and Steve Lombardozzi Glare Reducing Stick-On Striplets that I think I'm going to have a really hard time selling. I think I should just send them all to Luke Scott, maybe?
David Raposa: I’m sure there’s a KKK softball league in need of some of your sticker swag. Someone needs to tell Yunel what batknobs are for.
David Roth: I'm sure that roving minor league instructor Bill Ripken is getting a very terse voicemail message as we speak. "It now seems clear that you were not communicating clearly enough, Bill. The Blue Jays are reconsidering our relationship with Fuck Face LLC."
David Raposa: This may be too wheels-within-wheels, but maybe Yunel is a closet Red Sox fan and wanted to draw the media's attention away from Bobby V's press-conference seppuku?
David Roth: I have long since averted my eyes, there. Has he started calling Dan Shaughnessy "Colleen" or something? Rollerskating to the mound to make a pitching change, shirtless? Calling Alfredo Aceves "Alf," even though he knows that Aceves hates it?
David Raposa: If only (especially since Aceves is SUCH a Shumway).I think he's just taken to paraphrasing Roy Batty during his post-game press conferences now.
David Raposa: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Dustin Pedroia dipping his balls into my Dunkin' Donuts Iced Mocha Latte. I watched Josh Beckett eat a whole rack of lamb over the shoulder of Pete Abraham."
David Raposa: Anyway, let's not mope about the crap teams we follow and instead celebrate the ongoing Wild Card clusterfucks! Go ... Brewers?
David Roth: I am drawing the line, there. If they make it to the postseason and the Pirates don't I'll be sad. I'm generally all for the Brewers being successful, and I always love it when teams dump all their notionally valuable vets, prepare to ride out the rest of the season with a team of 21-year-olds and 37-year-olds, and then suddenly get hot. But not at the expense of the Pirates.
David Raposa: I think my vague interest in the Pirates totally kicked their nards in. If I could take the blame for James McDonald turning back into James McDonald, I would.
David Roth: I read a very bleak Deadspin piece about their collapse. All of which seems to be predicated on unnecessary pinch-running and panicky bunts. Getting #Hurdled is the saddest way to go out.
David Raposa: True, but that Deadspin post seems a wee bit reactionary. Not that I know many Pirates fans, but I'm pretty sure most of them didn't think this team had a shot at .500, let alone a playoff berth, back in March. And while finishing below .500 would suck, for all the obvious and contextual reasons, I think there's actual honest-to-goodness hope for Pittsburgh next year that belies this year's horror show. I can think of at least two teams we follow that'd love to have guys like McCutchen and Marte available to start 150-plus games next year.
David Roth: And a bunch of young infielders on reasonable deals. And a lovely stadium by the water. And a clubhouse not haunted by the limping revenant of Jason Bay. I get the same feeling when I see him on TV that I get when I see a headline with the word "Octomom" in it. Just a deep despair and deeper revulsion and an urge to blame Omar Minaya. Whom I still hold responsible for the whole Octomom thing.
David Raposa: Pittsburgh might be a Garza-and-Bartlett trade away from surprising folks. Although, ideally, they would also do something about the aforementioned sac-happy cyst that writes out the line-up card, too.
David Roth: If I'm being all the way honest, I'd just like to see them make the playoffs so I don't have to watch the Cardinals.
David Raposa: Preach.
David Roth: They say at night, sometimes, you can hear The Whiskey-Scented Shade of LaRussa calling for Joe McEwing.
David Raposa: I'm sure the walls of the trainers' room at Busch Stadium drip with 80-proof ectoplasm that reads LEFTY-RIGHTY MATCHUPS.
David Roth: I wish I knew what was going wrong with the Dodgers. At least they're going to keep Ned Colletti around to figure things out.
David Raposa: I guess the Underpants Gnome Guide To Ned Colletti's Success would be: 1) Trade away most of your promising prospects for mediocre humps or overpriced veterans. 2) Sign Juan Uribe. 3) ???? 4) PROFIT!
David Roth: I really look forward to them bringing in Casey Blake to solidify things. "At four years, $41 million, he knows we mean it this time."
David Raposa: "Yeah, last time, he was dogging it. But with great age comes great bat speed, or something. Hey, look, it's Magic Johnson!"
David Raposa: Segue! Are you OK with a playoff team potentially starting Lew Ford & Nate McLouth in the outfield?
David Roth: So okay. More and more every day. I don't know how it could happen. I wouldn't have figured an Atlantic League team would make the postseason with those particular dudes in the corners, at least without a terrific season from Tike Redman or whoever in center. But I have learned and continue to learn that I do not understand baseball even a little. The Orioles are teaching me so much.
David Raposa: I think when it comes to America's Pastime, we are all Mike Francesca nodding off to a Sweeney Murti call-in segment.
David Roth: And waking up terrified and rageful. I've been there. Also often when people talk about the Yankees. Fall asleep angry, wake up angry.
David Raposa: So I guess we're rooting against both the Cardinals and the Yankees, right? I was hoping for Tampa Bay to sneak in, but after their recent mini-slump, I guess I now have to hope the Angels' starting pitching fakes it long enough to give a legitimate playoff run a go.
David Roth: I can always deal with the Angels. I like it when good things happen to Detroit. The Yankees would have to commit to Steve Pearce as a long-term answer at first for me to care for them.
David Raposa: I heard they're going to have Pearce and Raul Ibanez fight to the death with drink umbrellas to see who inherits the rest of Mark Teixeira's contract.
David Roth: That's the Steinbrenner Way. Winners only.
David Raposa: I also wouldn't mind Detroit so much, but they throw money around like a poor man's Dodgers, and Leyland always seems to play favorites with the wrong guys.
David Roth: I think people really overreact to the fact that he adopted Ryan Raburn. Like as his child. People see that as favoritism. They don't know what it's like to be Leyland's kid. All the complaining that a given TV tray of Marie Callender's Homestyle Soft Chicken Chunks in Thick White Sauce™ is "too spicy." The constant grousing about how hard it is to find packs of Merits these days.
David Raposa: Suddenly, I can’t shake the image of Raburn & Leyland having the “I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU, DAD!” conversation, with a highball-soaked Raburn chainsmoking menthols as he cries.
David Roth: I was thinking about something: if you're the Angels, for instance, and you've maxed out everything to win the World Series and built a good team but then you don't even make an (expanded) postseason, what do you do? Nothing, right? Like, don't resign Zack Greinke and just sort of hang in there? The idea of the Tigers or Angels being like "WE MUST DO MORE" is terrifying. It will mean that the Tigers will have some sort of Cybergenic Charlie Gehringer playing second base next year, at an operating cost of $11 million per inning, because Flags Fly Forever or whatever.
David Raposa: Well, the Tigers actually need to do more—they're like a reverse glacier. They have third of a hitting line-up—a high-quality third—to be fair, and maybe 3/5ths of a pitching rotation, if you buy into Scherzer's turnaround this year.
David Roth: I'm not ready to punt on their decision to build a roster based on the otherwise discredited SABR stats xHAMS and P'Zones-Above-Replacement. If I'm the Tigers, I go into this offseason with one goal, only. Teach Victor Martinez to become a solid second baseman.
David Raposa: If Miguel Cabrera can swim against the defensive-spectrum stream, I don't see why an ever-aging C/1B coming off serious surgery can't mix it up at second.
David Raposa: Failing that, it's Cybergenic Charlie Gehringer, probably. Or, more cheaply, RoboCop Lou Whitaker. "Citizen: I remain underrated. Excuse me, I have to go. Somewhere there is a bad two-pitch at-bat happening with Ramon Santiago involved." /Stiffly turns to right and walks off
David Raposa: "Remember, kids: eat your vegetables." *turns double play & hits game-winning HR at the same time* Whitaker RIGHT NOW would be an improvement over the nonsense Leyland's been penciling in at 2B this year.
David Roth: They're desperate. I read recently that they had Ryan Raburn get a perm and start wearing glasses, and then tried to convince fans he was "Brian Rayburn," a totally different guy.
David Raposa: That's no way to treat your son, Jimmy! At this point, they might be better off giving Rick Porcello a bat and some Tom Emanski videos.
David Roth: Or just hire McGriff to put on a giant puffy mesh cap and point at Ramon Santiago. "SUCCEED"
David Raposa: That's what the Tigers are missing: motivational posters! A framed close-up of the Papa John's guy's many facial fissures. And written underneath, in the serif-laded font of your choice: "PERSPECTIVE - Be glad this guy isn't your owner."
David Roth: Schnatter should buy a team just to stick it to Ilitch. "I've always believed in better ingredients. That's why I spend hours every day whispering my innermost thoughts to green bell peppers. And it is also why I just signed Nick Swisher to a six-year, $125 million deal." Then Swisher rides a Ski-Doo into the press conference wearing a No Fear t-shirt and does a crotch-chop.
David Raposa: How do you feel about the second wildcard? Do you think it's giving the playoff push some meaning, or do you think it's just a smoke screen meant to bilk fans of mediocre teams?
David Roth: I mean, both. I am always okay with more baseball. But a one-game playoff is pretty frankly bullshit. But on the other hand: more baseball. So you see the conundrum.
David Roth: If the Cardinals get in and then go on to win the World Series, I am going to go to Bud Selig's house and make a scene. Shaving cream all on his car spelling out "YOU'RE SO STUPID." (They'll never be able to trace it, I am known for strong grammar)
David Raposa: It's a date. I will teepee the shit out of Daniel Descalso's house with you.
David Roth: I like to imagine Daniel Descalso living with his parents, John and Tina Descalso.
David Raposa: I'm sure his brother, Frankie, is a good bean.
David Roth: Like we'd show up to TP everything but we'd wind up inside eating sausage and peppers while Tina showed us pictures of Descalso in Little League. He'd be like "Aw, ma, knock it off, wouldya?"
David Raposa: I bet he wears the tablecloth like a napkin, just like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. "Ma, watch it with the marinara—I gotta pinch-run tonight!"
David Roth: Is this even bigoted? I think we're giving him a great benefit of the doubt.
David Raposa: I think we're being very magnanimous with our stereotyping. As always. Our ignorance and bigotry comes from the heart.