"We only have seventy-two seconds to send our message to outer space...meanwhile we're in a baseball park and, uh, if we could explain baseball to you in twenty-seconds then we would be geniuses. We're not."
Well howdy, Internet, and a good mornin', too. I have emerged from the foggy mornings and dark nights of harvest to answer questions and concerns sent directly to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org about baseballin' and why we all let the season come to this: a championship for the group of guys who bought out all the Monster energy drinks and Mountain Dew Code Reds from your local 7/11. Seriously, check your shit. This is mostly on you and I am taking no blame because I barely know who Daniel Murphy is except for the fact that he sure pooped his pants during the World Series. Leave your Prodigal Sons and Chosen Ones at the door. I'm taeking it all apart.
What do you take of the Royals winning the World Series? Does it give you hope for the future of the Seattle Mariners? Do you have any opinions to offer on any other playoff teams? Any concerns to mount with the more fledgling franchises going in to 2016?
With All My Love,
Now I may not know much about this shiny, speckled, beep-bop machine with letters strewn about here and there and the "v" next to the "b" but Mr. Bishop is a good friend and asked me to talk a little hardball with you folk now that the season is endin'. Coming down from the mountain only to hear that the Kansas City Royals took the ol' cotton pennant from those Metropolitans from New York wasn't easy. Now how is a grape-farmer supposed to react to the news that the second he stops spinnin' his ABBA records (I love the Dutch), a bunch of whining, three-quarter bearded men from the city known for the worst style of smokin' pork were allowed to just steal bases willy-nilly while Lucas Duda played a game of pickle with local school-children?
I surely wasn't supposed to be pleased, were I?
Cinnamon and gravy. What a hazy and lazy year of ball you folks had to endure. Finally, the Oakland A's put out a team that performed the same way their stadium smells. The Baltimore Orioles played nine innings in front of an empty stadium and we were made to believe this was unique. When was the last time you wanted to leave your home in Baltimore? The Pirates provided just enough hope to keep the men in the mines for one more year. There's gold there somewhere, boys. Just don't mind the canary.
Which brings me to the Washington Nationals. Here is a team of such moral fortitude that they had the good graces to keep their loud preseason prognosticatin' out of a perfectly entertaining and never-once-no-not-at-all boring postseason. Good riddance to Bryce Harper and a head so full of gel that it may have taken an entire cow's worth of gelatin to keep it up.
Now, I know, I know what you're thinking. "Don't be so hard on em, Darryl," they'll say, "They're just a buncha kids." A buncha kids is right. I've eaten chicken pot-pies with firmer fiber than the likes of Colby Rasmus and the star-children from Houston. And didn't they prove it true that it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog unless the other dog is a bigger dog in the fight. Oh sure, Dallas Keuchel has a long, pointy-gnome beard but see if that chicken-legged man could fell a tree backhanded and blindfolded like Roger Clemens.
I would say something about the teams from Atlanta, Arizona, or the White Sox but frankly I forgot they still played baseball. The Diamondbacks figured out a way to have two incredible talents surrounded by the Oakland A's while the Braves did everything they could to avoid a talented roster. Somehow the ChiSox found a way to remain a baseball team.
What do you take of all the whining about pitching high and tight these days?
One thing that hasn't changed in the game since wine-making times is that the game still has its share of babies. The Red Sox still hit pop flies at a Green Monster, which without coincidence, is also the name of my puke-riddled Hall of Fame ballot containing a negative symbol next to "David Ortiz". The San Francisco Giants feel like their season deserved more. This is certainly the same feeling Eli Manning must have when he notices he only has two championship rings. A man of his determination and ageless face deserves more from life, if you were to ask this simple grape-man.
Seriously, if we are going to start complaining about baseballs nearing chins to wipe away the tears of batters as they are forced to deal with the lefty-strike zone, then what the hell is this all about. Hike up those sliding shorts and take one like the stern tree or smart rock you were trained to be. All this hissyfittin' about playing clean isn't for me. Ask Ricky Henderson if he cared about the person doing his laundry when he stole his six-thousandth bag while running backwards. The only thing he cared about was if the dirt got down his pants or not. It's a messy game. Someone bought a sock that a totally sane and reasonable Boston Red Sox pitcher bled in for more money than a nice car. Mike Scioscia runs a tight and right ship. For anything about the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim I just go here because I can't say it any better.
You see, there isn't enough smack talk in hardball these days. And I don't mean trash talk. Smack talk is in your face and momentous, like the realization that the Cubs probably missed their one year window. Like when any of the twelve Marlins fans remember in 2017 Giancarlo gets traded to the Pinstripes. Like the proper use of David Price to get your team to the World Series. Like sliding into the second second base that is five feet to the right and just perfectly ankle height. Like the only hill in all of Houston being in the field of play.
Do you foresee any franchises moving towns this offseason or within the next few years? I worry about my Twins.
I'm having trouble deciding which team between the Twins and Indians will be shipped to Montreal this winter only for them to be meddling in that special, Canadian way. Seriously folks, imagine the most exciting thing to have happened in your country in the past hundred years to be a man throwing a piece of wood in some dramatic fashion. Harold Reynolds has been more moved by tomato bisque.
What if the Padres moved to Walnut Creek and won a championship? Would anyone go to see the Giants play? If the Packers make a deep playoff run will there be any sausages left for the Brewers' season? Would that become just another empty part of Wisconsin come mid-June? Let's say we swap the Phillies and the Pirates just to change up the dance-club scene in their respective towns. The Tampa Bay Rays may attract more fans in Jacksonville, if by more I mean it would probably be the safest place during a hurricane. Orlando seems like a decent place for the Reds once Joey Votto takes his talents to LA and moonlights as Goofy at the Magic Kingdom.
And there is always Oklahoma City. How could a team not be attracted to that media market and dance-hall scene?
How can I find hope for the 2016 M's season? Will this pain ever subside? Don't I deserve more than all this?
I Hate You,
A Lookout Landing Commenter"
Oh, so you're sad because the Seattle Mariners didn't have a season like the Rangers, Pirates, Cubs, Cards, or the Astros? Well how about I hit you with some Hardball Facts. When Derek Holland and Jose Altuve packed their bags they still had to board a plane to Texas. Now I'm not one for bashing on a state I haven't visited since 2009, but let me give it a try anyway. The only thing cool about Texas is the part where there aren't any people and you can see the stars. The rest is essentially a Chik-Fil-A the size of a Costco every other exit. Oh and you still have to drive through Oklahoma to essentially go anywhere.
There are seats in Wrigley Field where you can literally not see the game. When you take your seat there is a pole just gently smiling, staring at your lover with too much affection, certainly not watching the horrible, National League baseball game, throughout the entire duration of the game. Do you know what it would feel like to not win a championship since ironclads were retired from the Navy? It would feel like being in an ironclad. Except if you're a Cubs fan, your specific ironclad has just enough coal to get you from Montauk Bay to Jersey Shore and the Boardwalk is closed but they are filming the show still, somehow. Oh and typhoid fever took the part of your family that walked the Oregon Trail.
Fans in St. Louis have to climb ten thousand stairs to see out the Peace Arch which, well, actually that is entirely fitting for an arch made to represent peace.
The Mariners? They are perfect. Don't change 'em. Look at these modern gentlemen:
What is your most burning question for the 2016 season?
Do you think the Nats took Dusty Baker because he will allow Papelbon vs. Harper Round 2? I ask because my guy at the Venetian seems to think it's Paps in 3. I could use the cash.