Yakkin' About Baseball: The Opposite of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

A journey to the dark, hallucinogenic heart of a young season in which nothing makes sense yet.
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If you're not doing both hands, you're bullshit.

Image via MillerParkDrunk.com.

David Roth: The Texas Rangers lost tonight. Nothing makes sense anymore.

David Raposa: That would explain why I saw a GIF tonight of Brett Lawrie making like an especially fratty Kirk Gibson while rounding second. Accompanied by a comment from a Jays fan wondering if he's rooting for a team of assholes.

David Roth: Everyone, or at least everyone in my Twitter feed, seems to have decided that Brett Lawrie is the worst. Not at baseball, where he's very good, but the worst at not being a rancid bro-steak. I haven't seen him, so I can't speak to that. Does he come to bat to Crazytown's "Butterfly" and insist that everyone stop and watch him rap all the words or something?

David Raposa: He's a dude just out of his teens in the athletic prime of his life getting paid stupid amounts of money to play a sport. He can afford to be a douche. Sure, he might give off some paddle-stalking "Ben Affleck in Dazed and Confused" vibes, but that could be said of most yoked or semi-yoked 20-year-old millionaires in waiting, I imagine.

David Raposa: See: The Most Ultimate Warrior Bryce Harper.

David Roth: I liked the version of Harper that went out there with Undertaker-style makeup on, just playing the Villainous Brash Mormon Super-Jock cliché to the hilt. That is a cliché, right? Not just something I write into all my failed screenplays?

David Raposa: Harper was decorated with miles of eyeblack and the hair of a Lady Gaga video extra when I saw him doing his thing against LA. I'd say it's a cliché for a reason.

David Roth: "Grayson's the best water skier in the school… but he's got a real attitude." That was from my treatment for Nicholas Sparks' The Vow, which I never heard back on.

David Raposa: They never should've given Channing Tatum a producer's credit. But before we move on to other less brah-centric topics—I think the photo above is why people believe Lawrie's a douche.

David Roth: Edward 40 Hands! A good look.

David Raposa: With bonus fish lips!

David Roth: Crushing it. That is just full-spectrum. I'm not a scout, but I give him an 80 on goofy motivational tattoos, grope-vibes and malt liquor selectiveness.

David Raposa: What up J to the Christ! But, again: in that photo (going by the URL), he's only 20 years old. There might be pics of me out there having shaved my head when I was a UConn freshman. Because I was BORED. And/or promised money that I never received, but I knew that was the deal going in.

David Roth: I feel like somewhere between 60 and 94% of the internet is some version of this photo. Twitpics of 20-somethings who work out a lot, doing the fish-face/upside-down-peace-sign gesture, with a #YOLO tag on it.

David Raposa: If you can't do ridiculously stupid shit when you're in your early 20s, then when the hell can you?

David Roth: Well, I wasn't like that. I was too busy learning about Michel Foucault. (Not really successfully, but trying) (Also drinking Lucky Lager, which Southern California Lucky Sav-On establishments sell in the Disinfectant/Poisons section) (YOLO?)

David Raposa: In your case, the hashtag should be YANFL. Which stands for You Are Nerd For Life, and also might get you unfriendly calls from Roger Goodell's office.

David Roth: Fair enough. But I was way too busy to even TRY hallucinogens until I was more established in my career and in a stable relationship. That is how I think it's supposed to go.

David Roth: Albert Pujols, for instance, worked hard through his 20s. Now he is roughly my age, and experimenting. He's clearly tripping balls and drinking Beer From The Drugstore between innings if his early stats are any indication.

David Raposa: April slumps are the worst slumps.

David Roth: And I know that is an incendiary accusation, but I can back it up with this transcript.

JERRY REUSS: Albert, that was a tough game out there for you tonight. Few pop-outs, not moving fluidly at first. How are you feeling?

ALBERT PUJOLS: You never fucked a unicorn, stop lying. I hate you. Just kidding, you're beautiful. You're like a moon, or a loving family. Hey, can I wear your shirt for a little while?

David Raposa: In the real world, Albert did get a little peeved because Mickey Hatcher told the press about Pujols telling his teammates he won't be as shitty as he's been.

David Roth: That whole chain of events and response to it—the bro-omerta thing, the weird wounded-ness—is like if you re-cast a "Sweet Valley High" book with cops.

David Roth: My memory of Hatcher as a player is dim. I know that he looked like a disturbing bartender—like if Brueghel had drawn this place Esposito's in my hometown, where the drop ceiling was like seven feet off the (carpeted!) floor and most of the patrons were dead. Now he looks like a sunburned mortadella. Also I guess he was a quipsmith in his day?

David Raposa: I want to say Hatch was a dude I'd see during rain-delay broadcasts of This Week In Baseball, running around a tarp-covered field with pillows in his jersey, slipping and sliding all over the infield.

David Roth: He got off Twitter before I could find out, but Joe Cowley The Misogynist Columnist is the same dude as Joe Cowley The Ineffective Late '80s Starter, right?

David Raposa: Given the player is over 50, that might explain some of his bassackward thinking, but Wikipedia says no dice.

David Raposa: "Cowley gained notoriety nationally when he admitted on November 21, 2006 on the Mike and the Mad Dog show, which is heard on WFAN New York, to be the only writer to vote Derek Jeter in sixth place on the American League MVP ballot. However, if Cowley had placed Jeter first on the ballot, Justin Morneau still would have won."

David Raposa: "That was the second such incident for Cowley; after omitting Blue Jays players Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells, two top-ten overall finishers, from his 2003 AL MVP ballot, the Chicago chapter suspended him from voting the subsequent year. They accused Cowley of not voting seriously, saying he 'embarrassed' the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA."

David Roth: "I omitted those Blue Jays because baseball is an American sport. Or at least it used to be. This is no longer the nation I love."

David Raposa: I guess it's fitting that Cowley's Wikipedia page is just a very brief bio and an extended Controversies section.

David Roth: "In 2008, Cowley was banned from all Buffalo Wild Wings, for life, after drunkenly invading the kitchen and demanding to see 'where you keep the WILD, where's THE WILD.'"

David Roth: "In 2010, Cowley legally changed his name to Joseph Dice Cowley and released a controversial double CD of stand-up comedy that consisted entirely of bawdy limericks about A.J. Pierzynski."

David Raposa: "In 2014, Cowley will be caught in a movie theatre, watching the latest Scarlett Johansson film with a hand inside his pants. He will claim he was 'reaching for a Gummi Worm.'"

David Roth: "In 2021, as the junior senator from Illinois, Cowley introduced a bill to 'make all bitches illegal, especially when driving because COME ON YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.' President Tom Selleck, though describing Cowley as 'a loose cannon' allows that the bill 'has its merits.'"

David Raposa: That Selleck/Baldwin ticket in 2016 is going to be pretty sweet.

David Roth: Daniel or Stephen? I think it's Stephen, for credibility with the born-again x-treme sport swing voters. Or "voterz".

David Raposa: Balthazar Getty-Baldwin.

David Roth: Does every paper have a Cowley, and he's the only one who made this particular mistake at this particular time?

David Raposa: I think the sports journalism world is full of addled and emotionally stunted mouth-breathers that watch "Mad Men" for nostalgic purposes.

David Roth: And for Top Quips. "Pretty much anything that begins, 'No offense, sweetheart, but' is a winner in my book."

David Raposa: "Whatever happened to men making grotesque sexual overtures towards women in public? Tequila!"

David Raposa: (Imperioli uber alles.)

David Roth: That guy. Even Brett Lawrie is like, "Not cool, bro. *duckface*"

David Raposa: But what's worse: young bros getting shitfaced on their Facebook page, or Adam Jones advocating for fans to get tased?

David Roth: Did he? I feel like that guy talked politics with Luke Scott too much.

David Raposa: "That was awesome. I told [Kellogg], 'That’s awesome,' Jones said. "I'm sick and tired of these guys running on the field, man. I said let’s get a K-9, something. A K-9 [unit] would be fine."

David Roth: "Luke, actually, was the guy who convinced me that it wasn't safe to play the outfield without a sidearm, given the minority situation and all."

David Raposa: "I'd [advocate] that people get tased. I’d enjoy that."(Another actual Jones quote, by the way.)

David Raposa: All that aside, have we already given Jones props for the way he's been playing to date?

David Roth: I suppose we should, although I have no idea how that team is winning. They're like an installation art piece. Putting Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis in the lineup at the same time = CREMASTER E-3

David Raposa: Chris Davis has been doing well, too! They are actually fielding a lineup with four guys with 900+ OPSes right now. And to Mark Reynolds' credit, he is leading the league in Ks. Despite playing with a lacrosse stick. They are also getting ridiculous pitching from their bullpen and Jason Hammel.

David Raposa: And they brought back The Bird, which is by far the best move they've made since Angelos took over.

David Roth: I'm fine with the Orioles being good, honestly. More than fine. Their fans have suffered a lot. But the Dan Duquette Blues Explosion being the team that actually wins games doesn't quite compute for me.

David Raposa: If Duquette stays true to form, he'll make the team semi-succesful, but they'll plateau as a high 80s / low 90s type of squad that's just frustrating enough to piss off the fanbase. And you'll see Rolando Arrojo join the coaching staff solely to distribute G2 pouches.

David Roth: Or, in context, a Golden Era.

David Raposa: I kind of want every team in the A.L. East to finish above .500. Actually, what I really want in the AL is for the East and West to finish above .500, the Royals to win the Central at 82-80, and the other teams to completely bottom out.

David Roth: The Royals would have to win like 75 straight to do that. But we all want what we want.

David Roth: I want Bronson Arroyo to release another album, but I guess he's "focused on baseball" and "picking up Xavier students at Cincinnati-area lounges with names like 'Banquette'" right now.

David Roth: I just felt like he barely scratched the surface with the last one. And I heard some of the tracks he did where it was just him recording with Dirty Three, and they're amazing. Whole other side of the dude.

David Raposa: He's totally got a triple-LP concept record waiting to be made once he retires.

David Roth: It's entitled "CALL TO THE BULLPEN."

David Raposa: First single: "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roberto Hernandez."

David Roth: One of those Oscar Gamble doofs from At The Drive-In gets a "creative director" credit.

David Roth: "I am the modern man/Lord Selig must not achieve his plan/Also I met Stone Gossard one time."

David Raposa: And then a theremin solo in 9/16 time.

David Raposa: If there isn't a spoken word interlude by John Sterling in Esperanto, the terrorists will have won.

David Roth: Do you think anyone has a copy of Jack McDowell's album that we could listen to? I would love to hear that. I think Greg Hibbard probably has like 6,500 copies in his basement. Otherwise it doesn't exist.

David Raposa: mediafire "jack mcdowell" "hot licks"—no results returned.

David Raposa: Whoa, BREAKING: 'Oil Can' Boyd says he used crack entire 1986 season. "Including one day in Oakland when he smoked in the clubhouse before one of his starts and had the drug tucked in his cap while on the mound."

David Roth: I get smoking crack in 1986. Everyone was doing it, ESPECIALLY Tony Armas. That's common knowledge.

David Roth: But why have it in your cap? Simply because you're worried about Tony Armas trying to steal it?

David Raposa: "Boyd said he was introduced to alcohol when he was seven years old and was high on marijuana in every game he played from "Little League all the way through college."

David Roth: Christ. Is there a book coming or something?

David Raposa: It was from an E:60 segment. It's going to take a lot of distance for this stuff to achieve the sort of nostalgic glow that Dock Ellis' shenanigans have taken on.

David Roth: Poor Can. We are lucky to have had the opportunity to see the words "Oil Can Boyd" on a baseball card during our lifetimes. The younger generation isn't getting an Oil Can Moscoso or Oil Can Broxton.

David Roth: If we start using "Monster Energy Drink Victorino" or "Depressing Warm 24-Ounce Can of Arizona Iced Tea Pavano," would it take?

David Raposa: I think we found a way for MLB to finally get those NASCAR-type decals Bud's been probably dreaming about. But every generation gets the Flip-Phone Hochevar they deserve. 

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From a Toronto Star article on the Blue Jays' walk-up music:

"Meanwhile, 21-year-old third baseman Brett Lawrie went so far as to mix his own song with an iPad DJ app, combining 'Good Feeling' by Flo Rida with 'Levels' by Avicii. [...] 'It just gets me fired up. It gets my mind right and puts a good feeling inside me. I don’t know what it is, it’s just got a good beat, it’s really upbeat and it just puts a smile on my face and it feels good. It keeps me loose when I hear it.'"


Did *not* see coming accurate Styx-lyric riffing on The Classical. Legit pissed Roth beat me to it.

Bronson Arroyo's third album: A double album exploration of the perils of fame and self-destruction as his alter ego "Brandon Arroyo" comes across 61 separate symbolic figures representing his various personal demons. It's narrated by a clearly sloshed Rick Sutcliffe, guest appearances by Kool Keith, Steve Fisk and Lenny DiNardo.

Let the record show that while sleuthing for proof of Lawrie's age in that pic, I neglected to note the bright-yellow datestamp in the lower right corner. (The Law & Order sound goes here.)

Remember when Angry Tequila Salesman was a Detective on Law & Order?

Angry Tequila Valverde?

I'm going to request that the next sport-cocktail Ken Walczak does for us be called The Tequila Valverde. It'll have butter in it, somehow.