Dear Charlie -
Hey man, long time no see. Vince Coleman watches that 2 1/2 Men show every week with my cousin Ray-Ray who drank a gallon of paint when he was 9. Ray-Ray loves your show. Anyway, looks like things have been going really good for you, up until this last week.
Vince Coleman just wanted to send you a reminder that all that shit goes away real fast. People don't like being reminded that you can get away with pretty much anything when you're rich and famous. Even if you get a suspended one-year jail sentence, three years' probation, a commitment to do 200 hours of community service, a promise to help fire victims in the Los Angeles area, a lecture from the magistrate and a fine of $1,000 plus penalties totaling about $1,500, it's not enough for people. Trust me.
Charlie Sheen, being rich and famous is cool. Real cool. It's easy, too. Just keep your mouth shut and do whatever you want behind the walls of your Malibu estate. Don't mess it up for a few weeks of fun that everybody wants to talk about. Instead, choose a lifetime of cool stuff that don't nobody know about.
Keep your head up, Charlie Sheen. Vince Coleman is here if you wanna talk.
1985 NL Rookie of the Year
I snorted crack of his wife's eyeball. Man up Wain-O.
But some of the shenanigans that go on down in rural Mexico would literally blow up a lawyers mind. A throwback to a time I never got to experience where pretty much anything goes.
For instance, one night we went to a carnival. Only the carnival had 3 games. And every single prize was alcohol.
Game 1- Throw rocks at bottles and watch them explode. Win up a 6 pack of beer. Note -- the 'path' to get to this carnival was located directly behind this tent.
Game 2- Throw darts at mini-pictures of fortune cards. Hit one on the money and you win up a 1/5 of Tequila.
Game 3- And probably the best things you've EVER heard. Throw softballs at a guys face wearing a hockey mask and insulting you. Win up to a six pack of beer. Note -- this game apparently only happened when the 'guy' was sober enough to sit on his stool. Unfortunately I was in this town for a wedding and didn't get to verify this first hand. I did see his tent, but never the masked, well, I'll call him a hero. Some people are dubious that he exists. I choose not to let this be an option.
That's the carnival.
Sound like fun to you? Because it was the BEST carnival ever. The satisfaction of smashing bottles of beer to win more beer and leave a fair with a 12-pack and tequila? ENDLESS.
And did I mention the one sign that the beer/liquor stand had hanging?
The context of this was hard to find, but it certainly was there for some reason. Oh, and they really did have a beer/liquor stand you could buy booze at if you were too drunk to hit a bottle 7 feet in front of your face with a huge rock.
Other notes on rural Mexico?
1- Cockfighting. Alive and well, apparently. Thursday night seems to be the traditional cockfighting night, but not year round. It's like the NFL... but with armed cocks.
2- Pacifico. Hard to find in St. Louis... but not so much in Mexico. In fact, let me introduce you to a little buddy of mine. Called the 64 ouncer. When a 40 just won't cut it.
3- Mexican Airports. Either these people have it all figured out and you're incredibly safe or it's a trucking free for all. I'm not sure I even know what this group of people is doing. Honestly. No idea, they were just kind of bunched up hanging out.
4- Bartering. Many other countries let you haggle right on the spot to make a sale. Much fairer way of doing commerce. Us Americans are all a bunch of not bartering wimps that need to shop Amazon for the best deal. But the satisfaction of a 10 minute price dance with a street vendor who you can not understand a word of other than numbers is gratifying.
So there you go. A little love note to Mexico courtesy of The CD. It was a brutal long weekend without me. But I was working hard for you guys...
A little late-to-the-party analysis: I hate the Cards' medical staff but this isn't their fault. Tommy John surgery happens to almost all pitchers these days and there are no mechanics, no training, nothing that can prevent the elbow from blowing up whenever it feels like. It's hard to ignore the fact that Wainwright's got a bad delivery to begin with (excellent "inverted W" breakdown here), but the results have been pretty elite since 2006.
You can only baby a pitcher for so long, so I don't put any blame on the LaRussa/Duncan tandem either. By all measures, Wainwright's built up the strength to work a full season like he's done the past four years. And the only DL stint has been because of a finger sprain in 2008.
The interesting thing here is regarding the 2012 and 2013 vesting option on Wainwright. As part of his current contract, if Wainwright finishes 2011 on the DL (which is pretty much 100% at this point), the Cardinals could opt out of the deal, leaving him as a free agent as well. So do the Cardinals go and renegotiate this contract at the end of the season, and deal with the Pujols situation? Oh, if that's not enough, Chris Carpenter has a $15 million club option for 2012, or a $1 million buyout. Carp will be 36 this April, and it's hard to imagine him being worth that much a year older in 2012.
No pressure guys, but this is the most crucial year of Cardinal baseball since, uh, possibly ever? But hey, it's not even Opening Day (and it's still fucking snowing out), so let's not worry too much. Here are some links, stuff and junk to get you through Friday:
-Shelby Miller will be fun to watch, but let's not rush him: Baseball America's 2011 Top 100 Prospects LINK HERE
-Hooks chimes in on the Rams' off-season so far LINK HERE
-Animal stuff Part I: Puppies, Hats, Bacon, Cheeseburger Facts. Trust me. LINK HERE
-Animal stuff Part II: Cat Bowling LINK HERE
-Yesterday was Mitch Hedberg's birthday. Tons of tremendous one-liners all in one place. LINK HERE
-The Hangover 2 Trailer (if you were under a rock yesterday) LINK HERE
-2011 Mr. Skin Anatomy Awards (NSFW obviously, but this is great water cooler talk with the ladies) LINK HERE
-Will infographics ever get old? The Rise & Fall of Lil Jon. LINK HERE
Enjoy your weekend ladies and gents. It's supposed to be warm again sometime in the next few months, right? Good Lord.
I've been sitting here in front of this monitor for about 10 minutes trying to think of interesting angles to wildly react to in a cheap ploy to generate page views. But the more I thought about it, the more I realize that this is going to be the single boring-est spring training the Cardinals have ever held.
Literally every single position on the roster is filled. The most intriguing subplot is if Miguel Batista is going to be a spot starter or long reliever, pending an injury to one of the starting five. Other than that? Nada. Zip. Just a bunch of guys going through the motions until the games actually start March 30th.
So what do we need to watch for? The Blues are tanking (again) and the NFL is headed into a lockout... so what the hell are we supposed to watch?
1) TLR's wine consumption. Miggy Cabrera really upped the ante in 2011 by literally swigging scotch in front of the officer arresting him for DUI, so that falling asleep at the wheel act isn't going to cut it this spring. Is Don Tony up for the challenge or are his booze-hound days behind him.
2) Berkman's twigs. Not since Sid Bream has a pair of legs been more scrutinized in the baseball world. Are they too old to patrol right field? Will the fly off hustling out an infield hit? Could he be the slowest man in professional athletics? We shall see.
3) Franky's Tweets. The Cardinal reliever has finally found his voice. And he won't shut up. Follow him on Twitter for nightly interactions with people that are far too excited to talk to a professional athlete.
4) Theriot's harem. St. Louis hasn't seen a cocksmith this adept since 'The Stick' left town after 2009's campaign. Will he hone his game in south Florida this spring... or will he hone his GAME this spring. What. Up. Playa.
5) Kyle Lohse. Because it's never to early to start blowing leads in the 4th innning. Good times.
So maybe it won't be such a rote spring after all, eh? I guess you just need to know where to look.
And he's ready for you.
Do you believe in signs?
Because if you do, the sudden passing of Cardinals co-owner Andrew Bauer Sunday just prior to the teams first full workout of 2011 doesn’t seem to be an encouraging one.
Not to make light of the situation. By all accounts Mr. Bauer seems to have been a great member of the St. Louis community and respected part owner of the team. That being said, the Cardinals haven’t played even an intrasquad game and they’ve had 2 season-shifting stories dropped right in their laps.
It hasn’t been said much publically, but this Pujols ‘deadline’ was a complete detrimental construct of him and his agent. It’s understandable that he doesn’t want to deal with the distractions of negotiations during the season… but he’s also got to know that putting some sort of self-imposed deadline on when he will or won’t sign will also create a huge amount of drama sooner rather than later. Every single thing we saw last week? We could and probably should have seen in November.
Yet, Pujols did what he thought he needed to do. Perhaps he could have kept the ‘deadline’ under wraps as well and just let the Cardinals know his intent wasn’t to negotiate. Or better yet, tell his agent what he wants and leave it up to him to get it. When that price is met, he can sign. He doesn’t really need to know anything other than – hey, we need a signature, man. Or – hey, they didn’t come through and now you’re a free agent, man.
Common sense. It isn’t prevalent in sports.
Now the untimely passing of a co-owner again provides more drama around a team that was just getting over having to no comment the shit out of some other dudes negotiations. Which, when you think about it, kind of sucks. Would you like the press asking you about your co-worker rejecting 50 times more money than you make? These guys are professional athletes. They have massive egos. Deep down all those questions do is build resentment on some level. It’s not healthy for any team to have this situation and you can’t convince me otherwise.
And while I can’t speak on how close Mr. Bauer was to any of the Cardinals players or coaches, I can tell you that sometimes sports seasons get going in a certain direction and they don’t tend to do 180’s.
The Cardinals have overcome their fair share of death in the TLR era. And Pujols will again settle into being Pujols- so it’s not like we’re sounding the death knell for the 2011 campaign just yet.
However, the stories trending this spring aren’t ones that are good for business. We’ll see what the next piece of news that hits is…no comments
Pretty boring week, huh?
The Cardinals finally were made whole this morning when free-agent signing Lance Berkman arrived in Jupiter (not counting Jimmy Baseball, whereabouts unknown) and have yet to play even an intra-squad scrimmage… but they have produced the two biggest stories of the spring training season so far.
Stan Musial was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday at the White House. Do yourself a favor and read Bernie’s article on it (LINK HERE). Something that hasn’t been discussed with this whole deal is how one time in High School I convinced Coach Mac that Stan was featured on this Spice Girls song (LINK HERE). One of my proudest moments of my academic career.
And yes, I went to public school in KY for college.
Albert Pujols made an arbitrary deadline to sign a contract and then didn’t sign a contract. He did, however, arrive in Jupiter on Thursday and charm the ever loving pants off every reporter. Note to the Cardinals: were we really that surprised that the 100 or so media people on site wanted to talk to Pujols? Would a table and chair for the big guy been such a put-out? It’s 2011, guys. Having sidewalk circles when the ESPN boys are in town just makes everyone look like amateurs.
Also- has anybody mentioned that Pujols didn’t really need to mention he had a deadline, did he? I’d have to imagine that Shaq Vs Pujols was a bigger ‘in-season distraction’ than getting a text from your agent with the latest numbers the Cardinals are offering. But whatever.
So less than a week in, the Cardinals are going to have to work hard to top themselves in the media attention department. Perhaps Rasmus can demand a trade early? Or maybe a Miggy Cabrera, David Freese, TLR all-nighter caught TMZ style?
It’s not going to be an easy job.
Now, the Friday Links…
- The honeybadger, re-narrated. LINK HERE (h/t Lizzard)(NSFW-language)
- Frogs prepare to battle. LINK HERE
- Introducing the lame pun raccoon. LINK HERE
- And while we're at it? Business Cat. LINK HERE
- My Bad Hookup is exactly what it sounds like. LINK HERE (NSFW-language)
- Old Parked Cars is also exactly what it sounds like. LINK HERE