Yakkin' About Baseball: Season Of The Tubular Slugger

We are running out of baseball teams. To make the most of what's left, let's look to the silly bellies.
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David Roth: David, we are running out of baseball teams. We are now fully out of baseball teams that do not represent at least one and in some cases as many as CARDINALS things that are presently wrong with the United States. I will watch, of course, because I like baseball and because I worry that Zina's Farewell on NCIS would be more than I can bear, emotionally. But the remaining teams are basically like four different episodes of "Undercover Boss" competing against each other for Best Picture honors.

David Raposa: I honestly think I'm starting to hate baseball, because that Juan Uribe homer against Atlanta, which was the epitome of baseball's lovable unpredictability, felt like salt on a self-inflicted wound.

David Roth: You didn't like it? Did you stop to think about how unhappy it probably made Brian McCann? Did you not like watching Juan Uribe's unique Vertical Corgi physique in action? (UPDATE: Actual Unretouched Photo of Juan Uribe, courtesy of SYourH, at left.)

David Raposa: Pretty sure McCann is unhappy 24-7 on some Obamacare twerking taxation tip anyway. Also, I might've been too wrapped up in anticipating the "WHAT ABOUT KIMBREL" flood that was about to hit on Twitter to really consider any wonderful Sad McCann ramifications. Though, really, Fredi, next time put in Kimbrel to take out Puig and the next 5 guys.

David Roth: It's funny, I agree but I also knew that wouldn't happen, just because no one ever does that particular reasonable thing. It was the right thing to do, probably. Or even just let him get the three hardest outs. But it also just didn't feel to me like the Braves were going to win that. Which is maybe a little TWTW or abstracted, but there it is. The Dodgers are good. The Braves are like one of those police department teams playing too-competitive games against the fire department's team, except the police team has a couple of Uptons and are all very rich and go hunting a lot. But I could feel that outcome coming.

David Raposa: You just knew Uribe was going to crush a boob-high hanger into the hearts and minds of America, didn't you?

David Roth: I did not anticipate Juan Uribe doing something good, no. I never will anticipate that, although he is having one of his Useful Juan Uribe seasons, after a couple of Sassy Bluetooth-Wearing Bodega Dude Inexplicably Thrust Into Regular Major League Duty seasons. I love the way Ju-Uri's looking right now, though. A solid four feet across, the sculpted sideburns, dat foie gras muscle tone. I mostly want that dude to be the one hitting homers.

David Raposa: I think I saw a Japanese horror film about Ju-Uri. Some burp-bellied gaijin watched him take batting practice, and seven days later he woke up with Luis Rivera meowing at him from inside a closet. Also, lots of hedgehog symbolism.

David Roth: It sounds scary, but mostly because I'm imagining Uribe with the long, lank Scary J-Horror DoomGirl hair. We should nickname him Dark Water so we never forget this hilarious and wonderful bit of speculation.

David Raposa: He's serving a purpose, though. Shout-out to the 25 editors that have to spell-check "corpulent" right now.

David Roth: "You really don't have another way to say 'rectangular and bologna-toned?'"

David Raposa: Spam-sculpted?

David Roth: Undeniably Butterish. Defiantly Glutinous. Paunch-erful.

David Raposa: How about Jello-jocked? (Or maybe not.)

David Roth: Yeah, obviously gross. But I am not sure it's inaccurate.

David Raposa: And now I'm hating myself and baseball again.

David Roth: Eh, I'm pretty happy with the playoffs so far, overall. I am upset about the Pirates. I had a lot riding on the Pirates. Not, like, money-wise. Just in terms of my belief in a benevolent baseball deity with a strange sense of humor, instead of some sort of Eternal Trump who sits up there Pickin' Winnuhs.

David Raposa: How can you be upset when The Greatest Team To Ever Team Up And Team Through A Team just made it to the NLCS AGAIN? In a world riddled with steroids and Puigs, they are a shining light full of light and shine and also marshmallows and mayonnaise and god fucking LOSE just ONCE you humps.

David Roth: I mean, I understand you being angry. But what you need to understand is that this Cardinals team is a great group of guys who believed in each other and never gave up even when all the so-called experts said /barfs and dies

David Raposa: They're a smartly-run franchise with a strong farm system and I am sick of their bullshit.

David Roth: I really feel like I should work on this. They have a lot of young players and Carlos Beltran, who's one of my favorite active human beings. They have a true Fat Athlete in a position of importance, which is rare. Not some fake big-boned Adam Dunn type. Matt Adams is legit Matt LeCroy/Pruitt Taylor Vince heavy; he moves like a tranq'd grizzly and is beautiful for it. They also don't have La Russa, who is safely scowling on a cat-ranch somewhere. That is all something.

David Raposa: Yeah, but they’re no FUN. I can’t even hate these guys the way I used to hate TRL’s bunch. It’s like hating a cloud. They don’t have any swagger, or style, or personality. Unless “lightly toasted white bread with one pat of butter evenly spread across the entire surface” counts as a personality. It’s like the Cardinals focus-grouped themselves into America’s Perfect Baseball Team. It’s infuriating.

David Roth: The ritual media fan-humping is irritating, but there's no real reason to hate them. And yet I'll be pulling for the Embodiment Of Late Capital Excess With Groovy Cuban Swagbeast when they face off with the St. Louis Various Different Flavors Of Contemporary Republicans.

David Raposa: Just move Beltran and Puig to less noxious teams already; I hate having players I like play on teams I can't stand. Especially the forever failing-upward boondoggle that is the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Roth: The Dodgers I can't be that mad at, really. All their overpaid guys are more or less okay by me. Adrian Gonzalez? The New Significantly Beefier Carl Crawford? Hanley Ramirez Playing Out Of His Body? I'll take all that. But also this is at least fun and the Braves are gone so now we can FUCKING PARTY.

David Raposa: Yeah, I guess in a fight between the team with the racist nickname and the team with the deep pockets and Peter Principle poster boy in the front office, you root for the racists to lose. Still, I would've preferred the Juan Uribe that hit the homer to have been an NRI, coming back to baseball after being away from the game for 20 years, doing work in the rainforests or on the Google campus or something, and getting his one last shot because of 29 injuries.

David Raposa: Instead, it's the Juan Uribe that Ned Colletti thought was worth $16 million over 2 seasons because Brian Sabean once thought he was worth a bucket of balls. But I don't get to write the narrative, and that wasn't my $16 million, so maybe I should just harumph into this bottle of ether instead.

David Roth: No, there's always something annoying about teams that can afford to—and consequently repeatedly make—eight-figure mistakes somehow winning out. It all feels a little too real, a little too much like actual life. But we don't get to write the script. The Dodgers are running Brian Wilson out there looking like a wrestler whose bit is I'm Brian Wilson, Chuck Norris-Admiring Baseballer But You Can Call Me Got Heem. Wiggly rectangular Juan Uribe is RICH and full of ham. And I like more players on the Dodgers than I don't. Puig himself is worth billions. There's nothing improbable or hard to explain about him, but he's a miracle all the same. Look at this shit:

David Raposa: A beautiful McGwire-toting miracle, that Puig. He’s like Salma Hayek in an Adam Sandler movie. Please defect to the Giants.

David Raposa: And as far as the Dodgers go, it probably won't matter if Mattingly keeps on "managing" the way he has. Especially against God's Chosen Team.

David Roth: Oh yeah. That excruciating Game Five was so HURDLE'D, too. There's no beating Adam Wainwright if he's that good, but the Hurdle-ness was tough to take all the same. So much weird defense. I wanted moar bunts, but I'm kind of a traditionalist.

David Raposa: Yeah, I guess Hurdle had a decent year in the dugout, but I can’t see the Pirates really taking that next step without someone else yelling at umps. (And maybe fielding an actual right fielder between April and September.) (And maybe another starter.) (And also a shortstop wouldn’t hurt.) At least he didn't buntfuck himself to a loss.

David Roth: What a gross/good neologism, there.

David Raposa: Blame Jay Jaffe. Then blame Beltran. Then blame Walt Jocketty. Then look in the mirror and blame yourself.

David Roth: I can sort of see a Red Sox/Cardinals World Series coming that I'll hate. But I am okay with the next week-plus of baseball, mostly. I will miss more exposure to the Oakland Athletics and their collection of beardos and promising young pitchers. I will miss watching Bartolo Colon out there looking like a sad kid in an off-brand Shrek Halloween costume.

David Raposa: Ah, the Athletics. Puig: Original Recipie! Dudes with beards that are more likable/less talented! Coco!

David Roth: Puig and Cespedes in the same outfield would be hilarious swag overload. Have you seen the Actually Built For A Cuban Link that Cespedes wears over his jersey in the field?

David Roth: It has like 75 diamonds and a Swatch two feet in diameter swinging from it. If they'd made the ALCS, he would've worn Soulja Boy's diamond-encrusted remote control car piece.

David Raposa: I can't seem to find a pic of the Cespedes medallion.

David Roth: It's mostly just the link. Hang on. Here, have some more Cardinals while you wait. 

David Raposa: Ehh. Fuck their perfectly adorable dogs, too. Kill the prisoners. Salt the fields. Pee in the Gatorade.

David Roth: Brutal, but fair.

David Raposa: I just want one moment where The Best Fans are telling Puig how good his mother was in bed last night, and he shuts them up with a 600-foot homer and a 45-minute trip around the bases.

David Roth: Cespedes chain is the shiny part of this photo: 

David Raposa: So, are these reports about Beltran going back to the Mets purely Met-beat-writer speculation based on forgetting how Beltran's previous tenure in New York went? "The Mets would like to sign Beltran for next year, if he's willing to put up with the same ridiculous level of scrutinous WFAN-flavored bullshit he gladly escaped once already?"

David Roth: Oh yeah. They have no money. We have better restaurants than other cities, and Mike Francesa is around if you're into having a veal-breathed grump-manatee call you gutless on the radio, but that's about it.

David Raposa: I think Pedro just called Adam Wainwright "an alpha dog marking his own territory."

David Roth: Yup. "He went out there and peed on a mailbox tonight. Then he pooped right on the sidewalk and scrambled away from it after and looked back like 'ugh, who just pooped on the sidewalk, gross, let's get out of here.' Total alpha, total dog."

David Raposa: The pride of St. Louis.

David Roth: The spirit of America.


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