Yakkin' About Baseball: Think of the Children (of Craig Biggio)

Jay Buhner's kid is going to get drafted. Bud Selig is a renegade lawman. Nothing is sacred.
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David Raposa: Hey Roth! Dave from North Moodus here. First time, long time. LOVE your adjectives. Question about Matt Harvey: Why do the Miami Marlins make him look less like an unstoppable phenom and more like an actual New York Met?

David Roth: Hey, sorry Dave, can you turn down your radio, please?

David Raposa: Sure, D-Ro!

David Roth: /Hangs up in a huff, cries on air for 40 minutes, interrupted by mostly unintelligible mumbles and groans. /At one point, the words “just fucking re-sign Gerald Williams and see what happens” are audible.

David Raposa: Also, why the hell does Terry Collins still have a job after he played the infield in with Harvey on the mound in a 2-0 game in the first inning against these Marlins? It's bad enough the Mets defense is back-stabbing their ace at every opportunity; there's no need for Collins to manage away games like that. (I'd say "wins" instead of games, but, you know, it's the Mets.)

David Roth: Collins did an amazingly bad job in that series. I think it's possible that the spirit of Buddy Bell is functioning like Azazel in "Fallen." You shake hands with the opposing manager and suddenly your eyes go wide and you're like, "LET'S FUCKING BUNT." Obviously this ends badly. Also somehow Terry Collins can’t pass it on.

David Raposa: Other managers must have their no-cootie shields up to prevent Sacromung from hopscotching across the league. Though I'm pretty sure I saw some genius do the very same early-game infield-in shit that same day. Which also backfired, of course. I want to say it was Clint Hurdle, because -- the Pirates' current record notwithstanding -- that would dovetail perfectly with my existing worldview.

David Roth: Something's going to happen and soon Joe Maddon is going to start emphasizing stolen bases and "clubhouse presence."

David Raposa: Oh, that's bound to happen without the help of pentagrams and such. Maddon can only stay an outside-the-box right-minded book-reading maverick for so long. When he overreacts to a prolonged Evan Longoria slump by moving him to to the eight-hole during a playoff series, then he'll be officially accepted into the Eternal Fraternity of Good and True Baseball Managers.

David Roth: Today, Davey Johnson acknowledges that you are no longer “a weird wuss.” Eric Wedge will call him on the phone. "Want to go hunting with me and Kirk Gibson? Right now we're planning on bowhunting a staff member from Baseball Prospectus on Luke Scott's secret island. Not sure who yet. Anyway, call me back no homo."

David Raposa: In other news, I had no idea Heath Bell was expecting. Or has he always been so Fettered? It's like he had a huge helping of Ray King (with a side of El Guapo) before the game.

David Roth: He's in Jose Valverde's workout DVD, which I just got.

David Roth: Or I think I did. I'm actually not sure this is a workout video. The first 45 minutes are just slo-mo footage of Guy Fieri eating French Dips. There are subtitles that say "LOUD SUCCESS NOISE" every time he takes a bite. It’s interspersed with footage of Valverde striking someone out to earn a save and then doing the Dougie.

David Raposa: He's got those Proven Closer Lipoprotiens coursing through his clogged arteries.

David Roth: "Coursing." The same way rush hour traffic "courses" on the 405.

David Raposa: Would you prefer "trickling" or "dribbling"?

David Roth: I would also have accepted "wheezing" and "weep-waddling." Although I will cop to being happy that Valverde's velocity and effectiveness appear to be back this year. Baseball is more fun with a bespectacled, flamboyant, Grimace-From-McDonaldland-shaped closer pitching for one of the better teams.

David Raposa: I'd agree, but I just can't get with his WWE shtick, especially when he's swinging a folding chair at the bottom third of a lineup. There's always a place for irrational exuberance in baseball. It's just not after getting an Izturis looking with the bases empty to preserve a three-run lead.

David Roth: What you're not getting here is that to BE the man... you have to BEAT THE MAN. With the 89mph fastball and swallowed-a-Daniel-Baldwin belly. Whooo and so on.

David Raposa: *pitcher throws room service fastball to AAAA hump*

David Raposa: *hitter drops bat and falls to the ground, striking out*

David Raposa: *pitcher drops trou, fires bazooka into the air, jumps into crowd, drinks three beers simultaneously, dry humps railing*

David Raposa: *Yakker apologies profusely to The Dugout*

David Roth: Man, I miss K-Rod. Wait, what’s that?

David Roth: Also, so what do you make of all this? I keep imagining Bud Selig standing in for Clint Eastwood in a remake of Dirty Harry. With Ryan Braun as a really buff Andrew Robinson, but in a Tapout t-shirt and with power to all fields.

David Raposa: I was picturing Selig as a really saggy Pinhead, with Barry Bonds wearing Ryan Braun's skin, and Ashley Laurence as MLB fandom. (NB: My metaphors are terrible.)

David Roth: WHY IS BASEBALL ALWAYS ABOUT HELLRAISER TO YOU? “Dave, are you surprised that the Red Sox are playing so well?” “Not nearly as surprised as Craig Sheffer was in Hellraiser: Hellworld when the Cenobites took his face.” They’re not similar!

David Raposa: For the last time, Roth, Sheffer was in Hellraiser: Inferno, not Hellraiser: Hellworld! Like, learn to use Google already, gosh!

David Roth: I wrote about this elsewhere, but the whole gambit all feels so overdetermined and fucking DOOMED. Doomed because the evidence seems light and in baseball -- and here Roger Goodell chuckles richly -- there actually is a process that must be followed before handing out suspensions. And overdetermined because this all has a weird aura of vendetta-pursuit around it. if you want to keep the game fair, I'm with you. Everyone's with you, except probably Melky Cabrera. And F.P. Santangelo.

David Raposa: That's All-Star Game MVP and World Series Homefield Decider Melky Cabrera, if you please.

David Roth: But if you are going to war to protect the Sanctity of the Game, you're fucked, because there is nothing sanctified about it. Because it's a game. That people play.

David Raposa: And like you said in your Daily Beast piece, people tend to look for and exploit all possible advantages, and when you're talking about someone's livelihood, said exploitation is going to happen more frequently.

David Roth: I do enjoy that the bad guy, MLB’s central villain and star witness, is this haggard Florida Man who looks like someone Dog The Bounty Hunter would chase around for an episode. How is some doof with a storefront in Hialeah handing out organic boner pills (mostly paprika, honestly) to Cuban divorcees is somehow also the dude selling HGH to Alex Rodriguez?

David Raposa: Don't mind me if I doubt the veracity of the self-serving claims made by a dude trying to avoid litigation. At this point, MLB raising the STEROIDS! flag is like Joe McCarthy trying to smoke out Commies post-Murrow. Thanks to baseball's efforts to screw itself in every hole possible, the PED story is now about MLB trying to right some imaginary wrongs, not about the players who perpetrated some crime (or “crime”) or other.

David Roth: Right. The pursuit seems far more damaging than anything else.

David Raposa: I can't recall the last time a business intentionally went out of its way to make itself look this bad. Plenty step into shit by accident, but Bud and friends are actually looking to mess their spats with some wholly avoidable poo.

David Roth: It's a matter of principle. It's about letting Ryan Braun know that no one is above the law. Crime is the disease, and Bud Selig's the cure.

David Raposa: So what's going to be the pill that helps alleviate the cure's side effects? An extended Brigitte Nielsen photo shoot montage? A cameo by Richard Crenna? Hockey?

David Roth: "To reflect changing audience tastes and circumstances in MLB’s remake of COBRA, we replaced the bad guy, formerly a buff psychotic with the two axes, with someone who looks like a foreclosed-upon Tony Shalhoub."

David Raposa: Honestly, if baseball is so dead set on eliminating the scourge of drugs from the game, just start over. Cancel the season, dissolve the league, dismantle all the affiliates, torch the record books, tear down the stadiums, light all the ill-conceived patriotic Cleveland Indians paraphernalia on fire, and play Settlers of Catan instead. And then go fuck a crack in the wall.

David Raposa: Should I continue to hope that news organizations will cover all aspects of this story, or should I just brace myself for a crapload of A-Rod jokes and way too much "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" Baseball Encyclopedia thumping?

David Roth: I would expect the latter. But I also think it's weirdly easier for people to get offended by executive overreach when it involves this sort of bullshit than when it involves kill lists and drones. So maybe we'll perform our anxieties about that on this. That could be healthy, actually.


David Roth: I'm just feeling a lot of feelings right now. Mostly because a friend just sent me this list of MLB bloodline/legacy dudes in the June Draft. I’m not ready to think about Tyler Zupcic. I’m still dealing with Bob Zupcic, honestly.

David Raposa: As a fantasy author once wrote, the night is dark and full of Zupcics. Oh, for the days between Ellis Burks and Mo Vaughn, when Red Sox prospects were strange amalgams of consonants and facial hair and baseball-like skills.

David Roth: I'm not ready for Clay Bellinger's kid. Let alone Torii Hunter Jr.

David Raposa: You mean Toriii. (Cue the DJ Khaled drop.)

David Roth: #WeDaBest #AtRomanNumeralNameJokes

David Roth: Mostly, though, I'm struck by the names. Gunnar Buhner seems somehow exactly right.

David Raposa: At least we finally know which Nelson brother Jay prefered.

David Roth: Cavan Biggio is an interesting one to me. I guess you say that Kevin? But what accent would you need to make it sound like "Kevin?" Like, if Sammy Sosa did a William F. Buckley imitation, Cavan would sound like Kevin.

David Raposa: I'm pretty sure Biggio wanted to name his son "Cave In," but also didn't want to be laughed at the world for wanting to name his son "Cave In." Dude is a SERIOUS Hydra Head Records fan. Multiple copies of every vinyl Old Man Gloom release. Flew to Japan to pick up all the Isis imports straight from Shibuya.

David Roth: That was always the thing I found most relatable about Biggio. Knowing that he and Caminiti spent minor league bus rides arguing about Botch and Jesu.

David Raposa: Meanwhile, Bagwell would harangue them about how "awesome kick ass" Sevendust is. No wonder they never won a World Series.

David Raposa: I like having Seaver Whalen and Sutton Whiting back to back on the list. There's something about their consonance that's soothing.

David Roth: Also good because you have spare last names in case something goes wrong with another name.

David Roth: I am really interested in learning more about Dante Rosenberg, whose name suggests a life I cannot even imagine. And that's before the fact that he attends the University of South Carolina.

David Raposa: Fucking Clerks fans, man.

David Roth: I know he's just a high schooler, but I'd say that Trace Knoblauch's BRO Tool is already a seven that will flash eight:

David Raposa: Those guys all have a plus plus Axe Body Spray Application Technique. That joker in the Santa hat must've been the life of the party at the Hangover III midnight showing.

David Roth: Somehow he knew all the lines already and was yelling them out.

David Raposa: He really felt for Justin Bartha. Like we all do. The actor, I mean, not the character he played. Which I believe was named Bustin Jartha.

David Roth: "Bustin, Alan did something weird and now Ken Jeong is nude and sexually ambiguous!" Classic lines, classic times.

David Roth: Are you concerned that maybe the ladies of the world are not ready for another Palmeiro?

David Raposa: Given Palmeiro The Elder's association with boner pills, you'd think he'd want to avoid giving his kid the initials of PP. At any rate, as long as there are Gold Gloves to win for not playing the field, and teammate's wives to (reportedly) seduce, there will always be room in baseball for another Palmeiro.

David Roth: So, forever. Or until the last Torii Hunter scion, ToriiVIII Hunter, retires.

David Raposa: So much to get to. Phil Plantier's kid! The two brothers that aren't related to any former players! Kirby Pellant! Or BLAISE MARIS!

David Raposa: "Who's that? " Oh, it's just Blaise." *cue Freeway's 'What We Do'*

David Roth: Blaise Maris is next level.

David Raposa: Blaise Maris is warp level. We are through the pipe into another pipe. Possibly with a raccoon tail attached to our ass.

David Roth: The final boss is clearly Trace Knoblauch, though. Defeat him in flip-cup, rescue the princess.

David Raposa: "I'm sorry, your groupie in the neon pink JUICY sweatpants is in another Dave & Buster's."

David Roth: You know something I want to know but maybe don't? The mentality of people who sincerely want players to get lifetime bans for maybe-sorta taking HGH (or not). I've never met one outside a comment section, but they are in EVERY comment section. What fan would enjoy baseball more without Ryan Braun in it?

David Raposa: Other than the delivery service he clowned, I'm guessing no one.

David Raposa: Golf clap for the commenter on your piece who wants to know why the author is so intent on protecting the cheaters.

David Roth: And I'm intent on protecting the cheaters because *whips off mask* I'm Jhonny Peralta. Always have been. I would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky comment-section absolutists.

David Raposa: That explains your endearing Buddha belly.

David Roth: I'll now take any questions about why my name is spelled how it is. Yes, you sir.

David Raposa: Don Dongle from the Yahoo Contributors Network. Why are you destroying the integrity of the sports-entertainment complex and ruining the arrested childhoods of millions of emotionally malformed man-babies?

David Roth: Thanks, Don. The answer is Benghazi.

David Raposa: I KNEW IT!

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