Yakkin' About Baseball: Leveraging Jeffrey Loria's Personal Appeal

Some winning television ideas, some base-coaches in mittens, and other April baseball things.
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David Roth: Sad April Baseball is still kind of trying the limits of my excitement about watching baseball. The Mets played a game last week in Colorado where it was 17 degrees and snowing broken glass and meat-paste—the last bit's a result of global warming, apparently—and everyone was all shivery and sad and swaddled up like they were in The Thing.

David Raposa: If the weather gets in the way during Rockies games, they'll just fly in Sam Elliott on a Blackhawk to fire missiles filled with The Banquet Beer to melt the snow-glass-meat. Then he'll drink a sassparilla, chomp down on a cyanide pill, and jump to his death.

David Roth: A proportional response has always defined the Rockies approach.

David Raposa: I'd really like Bud Selig to form an exploratory committee and investigate whether the schedule-makers are greenhouse-effect deniers or just stone-cold super-dummies. "It's April, it's an area prone to early spring snowfall. Let's have some non-divisional team stop by for a four-game series. Only small-minded pessimists could worry about the logistics of make-up games. Now, where's my Four Loko?"

David Roth: The Mets played some outdoor baseball in Minnesota that was pretty hilarious, too. The base coaches all swaddled-down and be-mittened. Middle infielders rocking the Cobra Commander cowls and hats with earflaps. Very baseball, all of it. Definitely not like a crowd scene in Batman Returns.

David Raposa: Kudos to the pitchers that kept their sleeves short, though. They have the biggest of balls, which will presumably emerge from their abdominal cavities once the temperatures start to rise.

David Roth: They truly are the Packers Offensive Linemen of their sport.

David Raposa: "The frozen tundra of Target Field" just doesn't have the same poetic lilt, sadly.

David Roth: The Mets/Rockies game of Tuesday night was just one of the unhappiest games I've ever seen. It didn't help that the Mets lost. But the body language on that field, Christ. It was half Forlorn Deli Employee and half Disappointed To Find Assisted Suicide Clinic Closed Early That Day. No exceptions.

David Raposa: Yeah, I saw some jerk wrote eloquently about it. I hope someone took Ruben Tejada's shoelaces and belt away.

David Roth: That poor dude. He's like two games away from #OmarQuintanillaTime trending in New York.

David Raposa: Give Rey Ordonez a chance to knot up his truss, and he'll bounce out there, no problem.

David Roth: I was shocked to see that the Rockies are apparently good, though. Shocked mostly because they don't seem very good at all.

David Raposa: It's April Baseball, where anything can happen! The Kansas City Royals: In first place! Dexter Fowler and Coco Crisp: Sluggers! Dusty Baker: Still making stupid in-game moves!

David Roth: We just aren't used to Dusty yet. It is still weird to us that Whoever Plays Shortstop is batting second, or that the best closer in baseball can only pitch when no one is on base and it is the ninth inning. I'm still worried he's going to suffer a serious toothpick-related injury during a game.

David Roth: So, what have you enjoyed of the young season so far? I've had a great time at the John Buck show. He's like Mike Piazza without the hair or defense.

David Raposa: Would my still-unfiled Official Mets Fandom membership form get torn up if I said I've been enjoying Justin Upton's reign of terror?

David Roth: It's great. He's pretty great. And I like that the Diamondbacks really have emerged as heels. I'm happy to imagine Ken Kendrick and Kirk Gibson looking at Upton's box scores, bearing witness to the fitness, and then grumbling about how he probably lollygagged it around the bases on that grand slam.

David Raposa: "He doesn't have to hit the ball THAT far. He's just hotdogging it now."

David Roth: "All about him," Gibson mutters as he writes Willie Bloomquist's name onto his lineup card. "Always was. Also Obama was born in Africa."

David Raposa: On the schadenfreude tip, I liked the small sample trolls showing up to point and laugh at the Angels for stupidly wasting money on that Josh Hamilton chump. I'd link to T.J. Simers doing his usual bump and grind, but I'll let our fearless readers step in that mess themselves.

David Roth: "Hamilton isn't mentally tough enough to succeed in Orange County."

David Raposa: "With Space Mountain and the Country Bear Jamboree right up the road, it's only a matter of time before he falls off the wagon. If he hasn't already."

David Roth: "There are too many distractions. There's a Macaroni Grill in Diamond Bar, and like 50 Del Tacos. He's not ready."

David Raposa: At what point do you think beat writers and columnists start actually buying into the shit they're shoveling? I imagine, at first, they're stuck being "provocative" because they need to write about SOMETHING, and deadlines are deadlines. But I also imagine those made of less stern stuff, or with absolutely no conscience, eventually succumb to this self-induced Stockholm Syndrome and think nothing of writing off a hitter after 12 at-bats and then spending months talking about him like he beats kindergarten-aged kids on the reg.

David Roth: Simers is on some different shit, to be fair. He's basically a pro wrestling manager at this point, give or take the Kool Aid-colored suits. He just identifies someone to feud with and then does. But it's all this weird performance.

David Raposa: What's his gimmick? Truck Nutz on a chain around his neck? Wearing Cosby sweaters as diapers?

David Roth: Grumpy Dad. But he's sort of performing it. Dad Boner with an editor and a decade-long feud with Jeff Kent, basically.

David Raposa: Oh no—the stained wife-beater, the torn jean shorts, the cracked highball glass, the morose triple-chin. So neglectfully parental.

David Roth: I was not-quite-hate-reading his columns for a while. They're very weird and throwback-y and mannered. I imagine there's some humorist he's really into that no one ever heard of.

David Roth: "You know how I call my son-in-law 'Buttface' in columns, and how I kept accusing Jeff Kent of having been the Green River Killer? That's an homage to Murph Noodlebury, the greatest humorist you've never heard of, ya knuckleheads." I can't prove this, but I bet he writes "shaddup" a lot. Still way better than Bill Plaschke, though.

David Raposa: So's the hairy bit of stink I pulled out of my bathroom sink pipe. (It types at 95 wpm, and uses the Enter key judiciously.)

David Roth: I do wonder about the question of columnist earnestness, though. Like, who comes after those columnists? Is there some 28-year-old sharpening his HOT SPORTS TAKES somewhere?

David Raposa: Listicle bots. Programmed to act like they're suffering from gout and indigestion from grocery store steak grinders.

David Roth: Honestly, I'd prefer a properly copy-edited WAG Underboob slideshow to some dude writing 100 columns a year about how Numbers Can't Measure Heart and another 100 about how LeBron STILL Just Doesn't Get It.

David Raposa: I think we should talk about Joe Morgan Quantum Leaping into Hawk Harrelson's colon. Have you heard/seen said anti-Beane flatulence? I can link you, if you're not feeling quite dyspeptic enough.

David Roth: I haven't. I can't listen to Harrelson, though. I don't know how that could be fun even if you loved his team. All those catchphrases. "AH YOU POOPED IT" whenever someone pops up to the left side of the infield. "IT'S A HAMMY SLAMMY LET'S DO A KIDNAPPING" whenever Konerko homers.

David Raposa: Well, he's a Baby Boomer, his ego's the size of Randall Simon, and he's probably one head-bump or case of heartburn away from thinking he can still pull off a Nehru jacket. Either he makes with the seizure-inducing catchphrases, or haphazardly throws himself at women one third his age with stories about how he invented batting gloves.

David Roth: Does he have fans? Are there White Sox fans who are like "I love how he yells and pouts and blurts. It's great. Just sounds like summer to me."

David Raposa: He has at least one, and it has to be the skintag that keeps signing his checks. Also, I have to believe there are stovepipe bros that appreciate his work.

David Roth: I say this as someone who delights in every one of Keith Hernandez's exasperated on-air sighs and attempts to steer every conversation back to Cream's "Disraeli Gears." So maybe it's just a question of what you're used to.

David Raposa: I like to think Keith knows that he's not 100% right, though. He has confidence in his opinions, sure, but when he's not ordering room service in his mind and trying to remember where he put his car keys, he seems to be actively thinking about and engaged with the game. Also, I'll take Middle-Aged Abraxas Fan over Gran Torino Handicap Golfer Hump any day.

David Roth: Are there announcers like this we should know about in other cities? I don't have MLB Season Ticket. But I like to think that Steve Balboni is punning it up and eating gabbagool on-air in Kansas City. "That's a spicy meatball!" - Steve Balboni, Whenever Bruce Chen Throws A Curveball.

David Raposa: Kansas City is home to the throaty ill-considered warbling of Rex Hudler now, so start your crying. I've been pleasantly surprised by the Astros crew, though that might have to do with the qualitative gulf between what was in the booth and what was on the field.

David Roth: Is Jim Deshaies involved, there? That's not a joke, for some reason it just seems like he should be.

David Raposa: Sadly no Deshaies; it's Alan Ashby and Geoff Blum doing the color. I thought they were pretty Okay during Yu's mostly perfect game, though I saw a handful of folks suggest otherwise.

David Roth: Oh, were they the ones like "Couldn't catch that one with chopsticks! KONICHIWA!" I know their quoted bits maybe weren't that bad in context. But also not very good.

David Raposa: They did talk about his hand size more than a bit. And how it might come as a shock to some that Yu actually spoke English. But given This Is Baseball, my recalibrated concern-troll racism sensors let that stuff slide.

David Roth: Also, you could put Kortney Kardashian and Tom Sizemore in the booth and whatever they talked about—a Kardashian-branded line of maternity leggings and DRUGS, respectively—and it'd wax the Astros on-field product.

David Raposa: Gosh, remember when the Astros were in first place? That was the day.

David Roth: A wonderful day. Part of me feels like I could enjoy cheering for the Astros. At least there's some idea, there. And their players are weird.

David Raposa: The swag they'll get for flipping Bud Norris to a contender should help out in 3-4 years.

David Roth: The Marlins will be drawing like 780 people per game by August. And kind of deserve it.

David Raposa: "Kind of," he says while spraining his soul trying to underplay his sarcasm. The Marlins deserve every bit of misfortune, since they brought it on themselves.

David Roth: They are the cruelest possible satire on like everything that's gone wrong with the relationship between very rich people and everyone else. I think the thing that's really hurting the Marlins at this point is not leveraging Jeffrey Loria's appeal enough.

David Raposa: He needs to be front and center. Like a resplendent rotting pumpkin, wet with Rogaine, sporting Ray-Bans he stole from David Samson's glove box.

David Roth: Dude should be on a reality show. Like a version of Undercover Bosses that just stars him. Except he works in a Special Economic Zone in the Philippines, making Logan Morrison shirseys and getting cattle-prodded for not smiling enough.

David Roth: That's the whole show, actually. It's not really like Undercover Bosses at all. I think really the crucial thing is various stern-looking Pinoys taze-ing Jeffrey Loria. It could really happen in any setting. A celebrity dancing show in which, instead of dancing, Loria is tazed. A dark and brooding detective drama in which a haunted cop and his rookie partner try to catch an erudite and well-spoken villain who KEEPS TAZE-ING JEFFREY LORIA.

David Raposa: "I'm Steve-O, he's Jeffrey Loria, and this is the Shove Gerbils Up This Ugly Dude's Butt And Then Staple His Butt Shut While Wee-Man Tazes Him In The Nuts Trick."

 

 


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