Homerun King Barry Bonds Unemployed – Possibly Blackballed by MLB?

Barry Bonds Homerun King Blackballed

It is two weeks until the 2008 MLB baseball season begins and arguably the best baseball player ever, Barry Bonds, still does not have a job.  The MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) will be looking into this peculiar situation as a part of its annual free agency review according to Donald Fehr the head of the union.  Is there really any chance that the Home Run King has been blackballed by commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB owners?

Of course Barry Bonds has had his name thrown about for his alleged grand jury perjury and alleged use of steroids (“the clear” and “the cream” possibly given to him by his trainer and friend Greg Anderson) in the Balco and MLB investigations.  He is also considered a jerk to the media at times (maybe that is why they make things up about him) and a prima donna.  Barry broke Hank Aaron’s all time home run record last year too, so the chase is over for that one as well.  He is 43 years old and carries a high price tag too.  All of these factors should discourage some teams, but not all.

Are those factors really enough to warrant very little public interest in him from the 32 MLB baseball franchises?  We have heard about Tony La Russa and the Cardinals and then the Tampa Bay Rays discussing adding Bonds internally, but not much else from the other franchises.

Barry Bonds has done more than enough to deserve a roster spot in big leagues.  His career numbers are superior to almost all players ever to play the game.  He played with speed, had amazing defense, became the greatest power hitter ever, and had the most patience at the plate of anyone before him as he has drawn record numbers of walks, intentional or otherwise.  Just last year he lead the entire league in walks and had 28 home runs in 132 games while hitting .276.  He had a better season than many outfielders gainfully employed.

He could fit a team like the St. Louis Cardinals that need a big bat to protect their slugger Albert Pujols and can platoon with the young outfielders asked to play everyday.  He could fit a team like the Tampa Bay Rays that need to sell tickets and improve as a franchise.  Barry will pass 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBI milestones this season.  He could fit a team like the Oakland Athletics that are already familiar with him from his days across the bay in San Francisco and could use a designated hitter.  Another fit would be the powerhouse teams like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees that could bolster the middle of their lineups with a deadly left-handed bat.

I would love to wake up tomorrow and hear that Barry Bonds has signed with the Atlanta Braves, but I am not counting on it (and praying he does not land on the Mets or Phillies rosters).  In the next two weeks though, if we do not hear that he has been signed, you better believe this “blackball” story will escalate.

Tribute and Retirement

Within about 2 days of one another, 2 sad and longstanding traditions rode off into the sunset.

On Dec. 6, the Cardinals released So Taguchi. 99 came to STL from Japan in 2002 and didn’t carry much of a stick when he first arrived. He worked his way up to a regular platoon player and put in 4 solid seasons, although his skills have visibly dissipated at the age of 38, especially defensively. He will be forever revered for the high heater from Billy Wagner that he turned around in the 9th inning of Game 2 of the 2006 NLCS: mlb_a_taguchi3_275.jpg

I will also remember this game, where Taguchi hit the game-tying HR in the 8th and made a catch crashing into the ivy at Wrigley (the same day Pujols hit 3 jacks). I think he’s a Phillie now…ick.

On Dec. 8, Bro Taguchi hung up the TRH apron for good after 9 years. Since I’ve been assured that I’m a first-ballot HOFer, I’d like to go ahead and thank all the people who helped me get to where I am:

First, ol Captain Mulletude…thanks for getting it all started. Gar-Bear (aka Lloyd Christmas aka Frank the Tank aka Holy Stoli)…I trained for my first job in a restaurant right next to Santino. Why you so pumped up? Suz, Bob, Mo and Pee-nut. Fat Bruce taught me to relish forays into the TC. Thanks to Pumpkin for every food concotion we came up with: Louisiana-1, the Hoag, Jack’s pizza in the melter + buffalo…even cold beef tips out of the pan was a form of art. Co-sign, teabag, you-face, bloop and skeeny. Delfino, Leaky Pipes, MCP, Nasty Nate, Beef Curtains, James Porter, Zacnpeebs, Heater, Skeez, Brothers Grunt and Bennigan’s Bathroom. Last but not least…Fat Leonard (aka Billy Joel aka Lyle Lovett aka Tom Hanks aka Uncle Legend aka “Christy, can I get 3 vodka and cranberries to go?”)…the other half of Double Dragon. We all ripped it up.

My lifetime achievement award goes to Pumpkin. Sample material:
Pumpkin (at the start of a shift, going up to one of the girls working): Whew, I’m glad you’re here tonight.
Girl: Why?
Pumpkin: I was afraid I’d be the only dude working.
(It usually got a delightful response)

Dildonic

So, I was out at the bar last night, and the Cardinals won the damn World Series. That’s cool, bro–whatever. The main benefit to me is that Bro Taguchi will be in a better mood for a while. Maybe he’ll simmer down a bit. He’s been all wound up for a month or so. But I digress. Right after the Cards won, some douchebags in the bar yelled out “CUBS! GO CUBBIES!” I made a face like someone just called me a Republican.
That’s pathetic. It looks to me like the Cubbies were in last place in the National League Central. If I were a Cubs fan, I’d keep my damn mouth shut at this point. Shit, I might even show a little respect.

Keep in mind that I don’t even really care about besoboru. As my homeboy Shawn says, “It ok.” (sic). Thus I can objectively say that those Cubs fans were total douches. They might as well have said, “HEEEEEEEYYYYYY, our team fucking blows, and you should whap us in the nuts with a Louisville Slugger!”

I’ll let you in on a secret: I have a Cardinals hat, and it’s mostly a red hat to me. Most of the time Cards fans see it and say “Go Cards!” and I’m like, “Sure, bro.” But, I did buy a new one after my old Cards hat died. And I did it just because Cubs fans are annoying. The next Cubs fan that rips off my hat from my head is going to have big problems with me.

If Cubs fans keep on being the dildos they’ve been, I might commit to being a full-out Cards fan, just to spite them.

And I don’t even care about baseball.

Soupy Text

So last night I was out, and I heard that the Mets were whompin’ up on the Cardinals. Knowing that Bro Taguchi was not thrilled by this, I sent him a text message:

SPANKY: Well little buddy hang in there

TAGUCHI: Fuck you. Shouldn’t you be crying about dropped passes and bad calls by the refs? My team is just fine. Don’t Fuckin little fella me you Goddam hawks fan.

ALL HAIL THE MVP!

I must admit that this is a very guilty pleasure. Why?–because the MVP watches his home runs and flips his bat sometimes (most of the time). Punkin doesn’t like it :(

If you watch these, notice how many of them give the Cards the lead or tie the game. He hit at least 5 or 6 really big ones in the 8th inning or later…2 of those are back to back on the vid.

So in honor of day 1 of the playoffs:

[gv data="TvX1zq5X_Q4"][/gv]

I was in the park for #s 21, 31 and 48, a-thank-you.

I’m not going to school today…at all.

Responding to the Bat Signal…

I’m going to STL for games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I won’t allow the ship to sink…just won’t have it. I might even buy a Juan Encarnacion jersey as a measure of last resort.
I’ll be back in IC by Saturday night, so if they’re partying like it’s 1999 (which they’ve been doing for 7 years), I’ll be in attendance. I was gonna try to get a ticket to the Iowa-OSU game, but I must heed a higher call. OSU’s gonna house ‘em anyway.

Drunken Cards & Cubs Fans

They need not go out in public, they need not talk baseball, and they need to remember that they are on opposite sides. No more than 30 minutes ago a friend (one that wasn’t allowed to go to the mall with me when we were young because I was “bad”) and I were verbally sparring about baseball and such, all in good fun. He started to get a little upset, but nothing worth reporting. At some point Ozzie Smith was brought up and I pointed out that I believe that Omar Vizquel was a better player. Mind you this is my opinion, I am not trying to pass this off as fact. My friend, the Cardinal’s fan was having none of it. At this point, still a non story. Then out of nowhere a drunk Cubs fan comes to the Cardinals fan’s aid. “You’re crazy,” he leads off with. I said, “You’d be suprised, compare their stats and you will see they are very similar.” No dice, “You’re crazy.” I said, “He has 10 gold gloves and was arguably a better hitter.”

This guy then tells me that he is “stupider” for hearing this and that he’d bet me $200 dollars that Vizquel didn’t have 10 gold gloves. “I am amazed I am listening to this…so you’re saying that A-Rod and Jeter didn’t have gold gloves then?” And this was right after he bashed them and told me Ozzie was a better hitter than both. A-Rod and Jeter ended Omar’s run of 9 consecutive gold gloves, but Omar got his in before they hit their stride.

The moral of the story is that chances are this guy never heard the comparison and thought he knew something. However he was a dildonic douche and chimed in on something he knew nothing about and coincidently in favor of a player that is most identified as the face of the team he grew up hating. So this idiot could have been a few hundred dollars closer to broke had I served him up and all because he was drunk and wanted to argue. A true cubs fan would have served up a name like Nomar or Jody or Penguin or Neifi and not picked a side but created a new one in their own world. What happened to those days? Did the Cubs fans give up or just approve a merger?

I sure am sorry he feels all stupider and stuff….YUCK

Do the math your self if you care – they are at least comparable:
Ozzie Smith & Omar Vizquel

Taking the Show On the Road

The Pumpkin has been buried thigh deep in work and has regretfully been absent from the wonderful world of the trumpet. But now he’s back. [end third person references]

Last week I managed to go to St. Louis on Saturday and Atlanta on Sunday. The first of the two trips was a driving adventure that’s brightest moment came when I tore down a Lion’s Choice combo meal prior to the baseball game. I went to the baseball game for one reason, and that was to see Barry Bonds play. Leading up to this game I took a ton of heat for believing the guy and the more I think about it, the more I realize that these irrate people are conditional speculators. Therefore I am not likely to discuss this any further until the truf comes out. (not a typo, that’s just how Method Man says to treat the “th”) Furthermore there was a debate, or people lecturing at me, via email leading up to it. I have to give old “5head Tagoooch” props for starting the dialogue, he meant well. I was surrounded by 1000′s of one kind of person all booing together as one each time Barry Ballgame stepped to the plate. The flipside was standing ovations for former players and the guy that fixed the sign in centerfield. Needless to say, those people have a good grasp on reality…….YUCK. If you want further details on how weak the tea was in that park, just let me know.

The food situation can be summed up with 4 nuggets.
1) Lion’s Choice was cash and was enough
2) I couldn’t locate the meatball subs
3) I made no food purchases at the park (a first, but NO regrets)
4) I saw a guy with cheetos sprinkled on a nachos grande

The next day however was far more amazing on all levels. First my husky counterpart made us late to the point where the plane was held up waiting on us as we ran through the airport. We asked people to cut in line, most ignored us, and the people in their 20′s hooked us up. The most notable was an older woman that looked at us as if we were homeless people asking for money and then looked dead ahead as if that would just make us go away. We’ve all done it, as we mumble “sorry, no money… all have is credit… mumble.” She pulled that on us as we had 3 minutes to make a plane and old gravy leg had another hour or more.

The airline proudly serves Dasani. That’s pretty much the only highlight of the plane rides other than the guy hitting his baby’s head on the ceiling and apologizing to it like he bumped into a stranger in a busy crowded elevator. The airport was cash. I did ran into someone in the Atlanta airport that lived directly behind the mothership for years. That’s odd, but not as odd as watching three elderly people fall down as the transport train took off and getting scoffed at by one of them as I handed them their dropped luggage. Needless to say, at risk of sounding like a jerk, once they got off we (and another) busted out laughing. Another train ride involved the svelt guy with me falling into the conducter’s room as the train took off and he crashed through the door all husky-like.

The football game was beyond amazing and the food was cash as well. I did hit a snag though. There is a secret spot that I have been going to for years to talk to the players before the game and this year there was a little heightened security and was denied. The persons doing the denying were probably there on some kind of “give back to the community program” that helps people with less than average smarts. No exaggeration there, if anything it is being understated politely. The lady told me the reason for the rejection was because of “9/11.” I asked her if she meant “as in Monday? Or as in 5 years ago?” I’m guessing as in Monday because for virtually those 5 years since 9/11 I have been in that same spot prior to most of the games I have ventured to. I kind of laughed it off and made my connections instead inside the dome.

Food summary for me
1) Beef Brisket Samich w/chips
2) Fries
3) Post Game Buffalo Shrimp w/fries
4) Spinzels on the plane

Food summary for huskatron
1) All the above
2) Some of my fries
3) Some of my other fries and shrimp
4) An additional nachos grande
5) Additonal crackers on the first flight

Dlor Dlogs

Well…somebody looooooves him some Trumpet. Come on, lezzgetanother8ball…..

Rold Gold pretzels are (precisely): that second baseman who plays very good defense (but never Gold Glove D) and hits around .290 every season. You’re doin the right thing when you play him ever day, but he’s never quite an all-star. And you generally have to settle for a Dlor Dlog…nobody craves DDs. You don’t hit the free agent market sayin, “Signing DD is a priority for us…”

I give you MLB’s Rold Gold Pretzel (an all-star appearance with the 1996 Expos doesn’t count):

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/player.jsp?player_id=115210

I WAS WRONG (sort of)

For a plethora of reasons that I don’t even need to explain, I have derided the Jeff Weaver trade from the beginning.  However, today’s start alone was enough reason to give the move a nod of approval.  The Birds’ rotation is on life support.  Here’s to you, Jeff Weaver…you Dutch Boy paint can-lookin’, 6+ ERA totin’…whatever you are.  Next time I’m in the STL, the Lion’s Choice is on me.