Yakkin' About Baseball: Rob Deer Sweatlodge Visions

Incepted into Jeffrey Loria's dreams, invited into Rob Deer's sweatlodge.
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Needs More Uppercut, Peyote.

Image via BluJay.com.

David Roth: There is, lurking and hazily almost-but-not-really plausible, a question that has been haunting me: what if the Mets are good? Like what if the Phillies are actually lousy, as they've more or less looked. And the Braves are sort of meh, as they've looked. And the Marlins are a Telenovela without women that will eventually involve a Lamborghini getting crashed into a giant fishtank, which they've looked to be.

David Raposa: You forgot to include "Communist-loving Rube Goldberg enthusiasts" in that Marlins synopsis. Did you catch the home run puzzle box in full bloom earlier this week?

David Roth: Are we ever going to get bored of that thing? I want it to just run all the time. I want to take mushrooms with Jack McKeon, Chuck Carr and Pitbull and then sit on the outfield grass and watch it for six hours.

David Raposa: It does kinda look like it should dispense the kindest of bud. And Gummi Peaches. But I was actually kind of disappointed by it, and disappointed in myself for my disappointment. After all the off-season fanfare and Crayola sketches, I was hoping for more than just a leaky spigot and some rotating dolphins on sticks. Though now that I knows what it does, it's kind of fitting that the first official Marlins homer it celebrated was off the powerful bat of Omar Infante. But I digress! LET'S GO METS!

David Roth:. If the Mets went 7-3 over a ten-game stretch in July, I would be too sad/distracted to notice. But at the start of the season I'm like "WHY CAN I NOT RENAME MY FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM 'LUCAS DUDA IS JEROMY BURNITZ BUT SO MUCH MORE AWESOME!!1!' FUCK AN ANTI-METS CHARACTER LIMIT, YAHOO.'" Exactly like that, with all the caps.

David Raposa: Does Duda have any non-homer hits yet? Or is he just cutting out that sissy-boy "station to station" nonsense for the One True Outcome?

David Roth: He hired Rob Deer as a personal batting coach in the offseason. Lots of shirtless woodland drills. Mustaches were grown. Trees were chopped down in vicious uppercutting motions. Sweatlodge visions of towering infield pop-ups.

David Raposa: Now you've got me wishing assumed non-blockbuster Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter was instead Rob Deer, Hitting Instructor.

David Raposa: Have we talked about Jose Reyes yet?

David Roth: What are we going to talk about? I'm already getting sad. You talk about him, I'm going to bop this bobblehead and remember the good times.

David Raposa: I just want to make sure you're not burning your official Jose Reyes Foot And Ankle Cozy in a pique of rage like some regicidal Cavs fan.

David Roth: I watched Reyes hit a triple on WGN the other night. Which is one of the saddest things you can see on WGN that doesn't involve Meshach Taylor and Dixie Carter arguing on "Designing Women." I just assume WGN still runs "Mama's Family" 17 hours a day, by the way. They probably don't, but whatever they run is probably worse.

David Raposa: It can't be that hard to secure the rights to "Night Court" and "Empty Nest," can it? Joe Isuzu needs residuals, too!

David Roth: It was fun to watch him play, still. I like Jose Reyes. I don't know that I could like anyone who doesn't like Jose Reyes. I know that my status as a Mets fan does not suggest as much, but I watch baseball to enjoy myself. I have never enjoyed baseball as much as I have watching Jose Reyes play it. Still true. It's not TRUE SABR or whatever, but I'd be willing to pay a premium for joy, were I able.

David Raposa: Hold on, I have to download "My Heart Will Go On" from iTunes.

David Roth: I get what the Mets did, there, and Reyes, too. But no one's having fun playing baseball in Miami, I sense. If anyone can, it's Reyes. But that town doesn't give a shit. And that stadium is like being Inception-ed into Loria's mind, at least insofar as everything's inauthentic, neon and full of shitty expensive art. It would be a very boring inception. Loria would be next to you being like "I like money and stuff I can buy with money." At least in Fred Wilpon's you'd get kugel and a long story about how he was once a decent high school catcher.

David Raposa: But there's a very good chance LeBron James might appear in the dream and run into Loria at full speed. It's almost happened twice in real life!

David Roth: That would make it worth it. Especially if it came with a KWWWOOOOOOMMMP sound.

David Raposa: They should spritz the pitchers with Hans Zimmer's blood every time they rack up a K.

David Roth: I'm a little worried about your Red Sox. Their outfield is Way 2 Pawtucket right now. And I don't totally get Aviles as your 162-game shortstop, either. Weird choices.

David Raposa: Hey, I saw Andres Torres get hurt the other day! Dudes getting injured are pretty hilarious, right?

David Roth: Sir, the question was: is there something really wrong with your team.

David Raposa: Man, do we have to? I've been too busy to work up any new material on this year's faceplant, and the "it's only April" monologue from last year is starting to show its age. So I'll just follow suit and blame Bobby Valentine for everything. Including the team's best pitcher contributing to that 18-3 shellacking.

David Roth: Woof. Did any position players pitch? And did Bobby criticize them in a passive-aggressive way? "I thought Youk pitched well, given his declining skills, motivation, and Ativan addiction." *chuckles*

David Raposa: Nah, it was the full-time pitchers that fueled that particular fire. Seriously, after Pedroia's "that's not how we do things around here" comments, I have no idea what's going on. Would it be wrong to use the world "inscrutable" to describe BV's general mien? It's like he read Machiavelli as translated by Tucker Max.

David Roth: Impishly self-amused also works. But yeah, I guess he might have lost the locker room after 15 days? Which is amazing. It's also quite possible that the Red Sox are a faintly cop-ish bunch of prickly grumps, although that in no way mitigates Bobby Valentine's dickery.

David Raposa: It'll just make it that much more amazing when he wins them back! It's only a win streak and a Dan Shaugnessey wedgie away from happening!

David Roth: He'll win them back by making them tasty—and healthy!—wrap-style sandiwches. "You know I invented these, you guys." Also, by prank-calling WEEI.

David Roth: "Yeah, this is Bill Mueller in Belmont. I just wanted to say BABA BOOEY."

David Raposa: Really, his agreement to appear on Michael Kay's radio show every week is almost like a prank call on the entirety of Red Sox Nation. This is some layers upon layers stuff. Again, not unlike Inception, but with "Sweet Caroline" instead of Edith Piaf.

David Raposa: But if I may be a boring pragmatist (again) and repeat what I said last we yakked, the Red Sox could still have a good year and still not make the playoffs and it could have absolutely nothing to do with Valentine's chicanery.

David Roth: Yeah, they're good. They should play well because of that. They still have to catch the Orioles, though. Which, also: the first two weeks of the season are great.

David Raposa: Matt Weiters FINALLY proving PECOTA right! Suck it, Nate Silver!

David Roth: Mark Reynolds is currently playing third base holding two lacrosse sticks, for the best team in the AL East.

David Raposa: Don't forget about man-mound Wilson Betemit! Buck Showalter's making all the right moves! Meaning he's filing a legal lineup card at the start of every game, and adhering to the two-visit-rule when it comes to changing pitchers.

David Roth: Imagine how good they'll be when Duquette's random not-good Asian guys get there. Adding a 37-year-old pack-a-day smoker who was known in the NPB as "Mr. Pork Dumplings" to a first-place team's rotation is some game-over shit. No wonder the Red Sox are panicking. At least according to ridiculous trade rumor tweets that are patently false.

David Raposa: They've made their first panicky demotion, with Melancon getting sent down for pitching like the stealth Yankee (via Houston) most folks imagine him to be. And I heard there are negotiations underway with Toronto for an Omar Vizquel timeshare; Cherington wants Anthopolous to include the 4th of July weekend.

David Roth: I'm sure they'll get better. There isn't some savior-ish prospect in the offing, is there?

David Raposa: Not to dirty my Depend Profiles again, but I kinda miss those days when all you knew about your favorite team's farm system is what the team's affiliated media outlets would tell you.

David Roth: Yeah, I sort of get that, too. I don't like having depends on 19-year-old Venezualans named "Vladimorkis" or brawny, bully-faced Texan righthanders named "Kolt." I'll deal with them when I have to, you know?

David Raposa: I'd hear these good-face stories about guys like Creighton Gubanich or Shea Hillenbrand hitting .300 in AAA and being heir apparents to so-and-so, and it was nice to have that lie when they'd be going oh-for-MLB.

David Roth: I saw an ad for Shea Hillenbrand Kia on local Connecticut TV last week.

David Roth: Weird slogan, though. "Shea Hillenbrand Kia: Why Don't You Go Fuck Yourself, I'm Shea Hillenbrand." I assume he focus-grouped it or something, but just seems strident.

David Raposa: "The Ship Is Sinking. Buy An Optima. And Eat A Dick." Figures that Hillenbrand would get all up in my grill after washing out of the majors.

David Roth: He had a 12-year career in five years. Made an All-Star Team…

David Raposa: TWO.

David Roth: Guh. And burned all his bridges, all before turning 30. I'm sure, at the private hall of fame he runs for total jerks, Albert Belle is making an induction speech for him right now.

David Raposa: Dude was proto-Francouer, but without the aw-shucks charm.

David Roth: "Shea might not have been the nicest guy, or the best player. But he once made Tim Wakefield, who was very religious, say 'you fucknut' at the top of his voice. And so today we honor him."

David Raposa: And Shea regales the crowd with one more crotch-grab. There's nothing like a jerk whose ego far outstrips his talent.

David Roth: I know it's not nice, but the Sox panic-mongering is kind of funny to me. "Are the Red Sox considering trading for Frank Francisco tomorrow? There's no way of knowing for sure, but yes."

David Raposa: Jon Heyman, is that you? Give Johnny Damon a dickpunch for me, bro!

David Roth: Heyman is on Twitter being like "CONFIRMED: I called Kenny Williams at 2am to ask if he was considering signing Damon, and Williams confirmed he was sleeping and what the fuck. So probably still considering Damon."

David Raposa: "CONFIRMED: I called AT&T to make sure my phone isn't broken. They said it was fine, and that I should expect to get future texts from Johnny Damon when he decides to send them."

David Roth: "Heard This: Johnny Damon has played outfield for numerous successful major league teams. Scouts confirm he is still capable of growing a beard."

David Raposa: What could possess Heyman to think that the baseball world gave enough of a shit to want blow-by-blow coverage of Damon's destination? I mean, I know it's only THE OPENING WEEK OF THE BASEBALL SEASON. So obviously nothing is happening EXCEPT ACTUAL BASEBALL.

David Roth: I found it gripping, in the same way that I find bad political coverage—"Both sides share some of the blame, but we can all agree: this one's going to get ugly"—gripping. Which is also nauseating.

David Raposa: I'm just sad that we won't get any more breathless Twitter text updates from JD now that he's officially signed to Cleveland. "ayo heymaker. I got you some sweet ALTERBRDGE tixxxx! pump my junk up on thw teiwtter man!!!!"

David Roth: It'd be good if Heyman started putting in calls for all retired players. "Scouts say Desi Relaford could be good fit for the Phillies. Waiting to hear back from Ruben Amaro."

David Raposa: "CONFIRMED: Barry Bonds still thinks I'm an asshole."

David Roth: Are you sad that Pudge isn't going to be around anymore? I'm mostly sad because Nick Hundley is now the catcher with the best-manicured eyebrows in baseball. And we all deserve better than that.

David Raposa: Ehh. He's no Jamie Moyer, but I think I-Rod said what he had to say regarding baseball. Though Nats PBP guy Bob Carpenter took the news super-hard tonight.

David Roth: Really? "I'm going to miss his class. And his smell."

David Raposa: There was a line about Pudge giving the Nationals two great years where I swear Carpy was getting choked up. I think the code word he was looking for was "distinguished." At any rate, he sounded pretty distraught for a guy calling games for the class of the NL East. I wanted to give him a hug and Rob Dibble's LinkedIn URL.

David Raposa: So: Damon's in, Pudge's out, Oswalt's Oswalt ... who's left?

David Roth: Pat Burrell and Troy Glaus. Although they started a band called The Galoots that's currently touring. So they may not be into baseball anymore.

David Raposa: Pat The Bat's doing the one-day contract thing! He's going back to Philly to be showered with love. I mean batteries.

David Roth: That's how they show you that they love you. Or hate you. Or that it's a weekday or weekend day. I don't know how he has stayed away this long.

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