Posted on: September 22, 2010 10:19 am

Stoking the self-esteem engine on hallowed ground

Oh and speaking of Steinbrenner, anyone notice how substantially bigger his monument was than the likes of Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, etc....

The overall impact is like a big screen TV in an art gallery or museum  -  self-demeaning.  If the size had been similar to the rest, it would have *included* him with the others.  Instead, the size sets him apart as if acknowledging the difference.  His listed contributions could have told the story better than the out-of-place ostentatiousness.  Smaller would have been bigger.  And how does the citation "...he followed a personal motto of the greatest form of charity is anonymity" fit with being able to see the plaque from space?   Stoking the self-esteem engine even on hallowed ground. So the size reveals a unintended truth - like a mating display of plumage - and it undermines the misguided attempt to trump.  In the end it makes him smaller, and all the others there larger. 

Posted on: September 16, 2010 11:21 am

Umps rule Jeter hit by pitch - on the intangibles

Umps rule Derek Jeter hit by pitch - on the intangibles

( ... Put's the Tang in intangibles, don't it? )

In yet another example of both Jeter magic and pr0n power, Chad Qualls hit Derek squarely on his intangibles last night. The plunk put the Yankee Captain in front of Granderson's 2 run homer, providing a brief lead over the deviless Rays .  As the ball rebounded into fair territory for an easy play at first, Jeter shook off the metaphysical sting while casting the now famliar Jedi-like mind fix over the umps with a subtle wince. After a brief conference, the umps sent Jeter to first although they were the only ones in the stadium (or the national audience) overcome by the short-range spell.

Although the replay showed the ball hitting the bat knob, an unnamed player confirmed that the knob is, in fact, part of Jeter.  "Kevin Long has always preached that we should become one with the bat...  an extension of our body.  No one embodies that better than Derek."  Reached for comment, Minka Kelly confirmed the amazing shapeshifting phenomenon - "I was nervous at first, but now I'm used to it and enjoy the novelty.  It comes in handy."  Former teammate Chuck Knoblauch couldn't be reached for confirmation.

While the initial headhunting was jointly engineered by santa-blade, chjohn, blakfrancis and bobby-age-10 to inflict season-ending damage, Jeter brushed off the bruise thanks to his ever-present intangible aura.  "Age and treachery will always overcome one track minds," he quipped.  Undeterred (Unjetered?), the persistant posters refocused their dogma on Dan Johnson , who promptly hit his second 2 run homer to retake the lead and erase the intangible edge Jeter had provided.  "I wasn't sure I should Dare Wreck the moment," Johnson admitted,  "... in a tangible way."  Rays manager Joe Maddon called Jeter's knob job a heady play:  "If our guys did it, I would have applauded that, too.  It's a great performance on his part."  Kudos from the opposing dugout - priceless.

Posted on: May 29, 2010 8:29 pm

The NewAge Vampires of Gloating

[ This idea occurred to me from a thread (by Under Your Skin, a long-timer) titled 'Remember when...".  I noticed that many replies weren't about fond memories but rather digs at rivals about when they were better or didn't fail (but haha, now they do).  Black humor? Maybe.  A trend?  Certainly.  And therefore worth a comment. ]


Remember when...

Posters enjoyed talking about the talent on their teams  and the good wins and the clutch hits, instead of revelling in the losses of *other* teams , goading opponents about their failures, and wallowing in the disappointment of others - shadenfreude .  Sucking up the real feelings of others (even sadness) to compensate for an emptiness they themselves can't deal with and must deny.   Living off the 2nd hand misery as if it were life-giving, instead of dead.  The newage vampires of gloating - unbecoming and so very temporary, unsustaining and empty.

I miss the cheering a great catch, hit or performance by an opponent - by *baseball fans*, very unlike the vampires of gloating.  Remember when fans felt great when the team beat a tough rival and that feeling of accomplishment, pride and achievement came from knowing the rival was very good... instead of the classless trend of spouting that your rival s*cks?  So if that's true, you're beating a worthless bag of bums - again, empty gloating vampires .

I doubt that Mickey Mantle thought Ted Williams s*cked.. much less ever took any joy in his hitless days.  Much less ever teased a rival on his failure.

Don't misunderstand - as a Yanks fan, I root for my team and feel great when they beat, say.. the RedSox.  But jumping on a Sox tread to "neener-neener.. you blow"  after a loss isn't the same.  It's ugly.  And I don't believe respect here is earned by gleeful threads on others misery.  Is self-esteem so fragile that the only way a poster can feel "better" is by demeaning another?  Again, don't misunderstand - I get "trash talk"... smack down, bravado, even put downs.  Yup, when called out, I'll defend and even dissect a poster spouting off.  But slapping a knucklehead is way, way different than jumping on the disappointed fans leaving a game thread, heads down and feeling low (we all have been there) and taunting, gloating or provoking a rival.  Most good people grew out of that after they developed a conscience and any sense of empathy.  Or not, as the case may be.

You don't have to look far for examples of the newage vampires (and by the way, more a guy thing, much less among women... capacity to feel empathy and better self-esteem?)   Read the thread titles and initial replies.  I'm curious about what others think on this - post examples, reaction or whatever.    I strongly believe it's at the heart of enjoying this board - both ways, strangely enough.  Our bipolar love-hate reason to be here?

Posted on: May 28, 2010 8:20 pm

Capping the Gulf Gusher: A Nation's thanks to...

Today's entry came about from the amazing early season winning streak that launched the Rays to a 32 and 12 start, while in the Gulf of Mexico an out-of-control oil well blowout was threatening vast areas.  2 kinds of blowouts?.. or one?  Look for hidden word play.


Capping the Gusher in the Gulf:  A Nation's thanks to...

...The Boston Red Sox!   Their "top kill" procedure stuffed the gusher of wins from the Gulf this week and prevented the runaway disaster that threatened to pollute the summer season for months or worse.  A greatful nation thanks you for your timely heroism.  Your quick action and ingenuity is appreciated as you saved many endangered birds (e.g.: Orioles, Jays), and restored the delicate natural balance.

While I realize it may only be temporary, your blowout preventer held firm when BP's version failed miserably.  Better than the inept "old tires and golf balls" plan, your mix of rawhide, Garza spit, Youk sweat and a green monster capped the deluge and swept up the spill.  Beach parties all over cheer with relief.  Your closer may not yet be as famous as the patented "Mo", but props even from Jones Beach fans. 

The danger of the runaway cannot be overstated.  Dying competition, lost jobs, hopelessness, foreclosures, and the prospect of an empty August could be in sight.  And who knows?   Vital species would be at risk like Cardinals, Tigers, Marlins, and Cubs - native americans like Braves and Indians - as well as Mariners everywhere could have been drowned by the spreading slick.  No longer the devil, this outbreak must be contained and controlled - and the owners made to pay.

Paradoxically, tar balls have been found stuck to wildlife all over the Gulf, all except the annoyingly clean electric blue helmets on the heads of the very source of this flood!  Imagine another blacksocks scandal?  Whether you're part of a huge fanbase in a town so nice they named it twice, or riding with friends in a duckboat around a fine college town or even floating alone in a tidal inlet like Tampa Bay, Raise your voices!  Together we can stop this florid atrocity.

Are we safe now?   Not yet... unless we can keep the spill at bay and tamp down any leaks.  At least now, we have a ray of hope, thanks to the Back Bay boys, the rivals that the Big Apple knows and loves, the Bahhhston RedSox!

Posted on: October 31, 2009 5:56 pm

A Tribute to Famous Screen Names here (CBS MLB)

[ This bit of doggerel was prompted by the online banter around the World Series between heated fans with screen names offering double entendre possibilities.  Folks were bored between games 2 and 3.  I'll update the entry with worthy replies. ]

Dept. of Boredom prevention:   Let the games begin!   While we wait for the endless intros to WS game 3, here's a game everyone can play.  Read on and help celebrate (and/or spoof) your favorite friends (and/or rivals) around the board.

** A Tribute to Famous Screen Names here **

To readers scanning threads for fun, considering this item
So many topics promise lots and then have zip inside 'em.
Instead you'll find a different kind of time-consuming humor:
A tribute to a chosen few made infamous by rumor.

Who lives behind the avatars, odd icons most confusing?
A sudden joke from just plain folk surprisingly amusing
<-- That nickname sitting on the left hides talent overflowing
in every thread you'll find a shred of wit inside worth knowing.

Like fellow posters here, I trust the golden Rule of thumb,
It's Taylor-made for WalkOffWins unless you're really dumb:
I won't throw Rock s or gore the Ox , just CrazyFolks would try it,
SomeJerk attacks a Pure Steel Axe , it's bound to start a riot

500 Million Warriors is not the Casey way,
unless you're downright Nasty or a WiseGuyInGA .
I think I'd Sooner Magic than believe in Dr. Phil ,
Bigheart ed posts bring Pay Dirt when you Stash the overkill.

It's certainly FlawedLogic to take on the RSNation ,
from Tribe to RSGalaxy it's quite a population.
Intangible TenAC ity, a NYFan might say,
but then he'd end up buried underneath the YawkeeWay .

Avoid a BigD isaster when Uno your post's IRON ic,
'cause even JobasMom would miss a byzantine mnemonic.
And though you say with wry aware it's acci-dental floss
It's juStatGuy and who knows why (he must be on the sauce).

My nature's not to brag or boast of assets here, it's true
great nicks aren't made by Hype I trust, but rather what they do
Let Halos grow from little deeds extended through your posting,
and heroes crowned by other's thanks, not SCPB roasting.

But since you've asked my bona fides (this thread among the oddest),
I've rhymed a few misshapen lines despite the risk immodest.
So please excuse my word-play ruse in iambic septo-meter
to show there's more enjoyment here than diatribes on Jeter!

(copyright 2009, all rights deserved. Contents may settle during shipping. Some assembly required. Batteries not included.)

Forgive omissions, too many great folks to include but you can IMMORTALIZE your Favorite Screen Names in an easy format. Post your favorites in an unlikely (bash-free) one-liner... like:

Filene's promise:  Your socks just sit in the drawer, but RsoxRule .
Former Governor Eliot Spitzer did the NYNasty .
Ok, THIS time I be beer drinker, U B Brewer .
Does the carnival give Groucho Marx a free MoustacheRide ?
My daughter loved art class - she drew and drew Andrew .
At birth, my baby's feet were a little yellow, but now he is PinkToad .
The recipe says saute lightly, so don't let Steve Brown .
The famous Hollywood sign ends with a very BigD .
To spell "oughnut" correctly, you have to put a Deion .
A caterpillar becomes a butterfly, but the Maltese falcon is a BlackBird4Life .
Leif and his brother Bret don't look anything alike, but they're actually TwinVikings .
SachelPaige -age-187 never met bobby-age-10 .
The minus end of my magnet can't face Positive Hype .
His friends at Yellowstone park call Old Faithful by his real name: Joe Khyser
  -  (ok... sound it out a few times and you'll get it)
Although I've found the A through G files, I don't C H, John .
Major recalls of tainted beef require an Oxecutive order.
[ insert yours... ]

Just pick a ripe screen name, play with a new angle on how it sounds (or is spelled) and try it in a sentence. 
For fun, not flaming!

Posted on: October 9, 2009 1:03 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2009 9:04 am

* Baseball is really just Sex in disguise *

You can't help being swept along with the excitement fans unleash as the baseball playoffs head toward a World Series climax.  It's contagious.  Ordinary people everywhere transform into eager admirers and devoted fans mutate into vehement zealots as passions heat up... and often boil over.  Just playoff fever?  No way.  It's much deeper - far more intense and visceral - as even casual fans are possessed by a delirious addiction for baseball that October alone can't explain.

Playoff fever doesn't explain why avid fans line up overnight in March, or wait out a rain delay in Sept in Kansas City, or argue online over pitching in February.  Passion around baseball is in the fan, like hormones, not the schedule.  The national pastime, all the time, the universal urge.  And here's why:  Baseball is really Sex in disguise.

At first glance you might overlook it.  The clues may be subtle, but all the indications are there. Consider a few examples... and as the evidence builds up, you'll see baseball in a new light (a post-conjugal smoke, maybe?).

Some of the less obvious ways * Sex and Baseball * are more alike than you think

Well...  after all, IN BOTH...

The Basics:
- Amateurs get together everywhere and play. Doing it for money, however, is another league.
- It's a confrontation between 2 people, one pitching to another. Then they take turns.
- It's not over until the last player has come up   ..and gone down.
- You can't score if you don't step up to the plate. And take your licks.
- Playing with yourself is ultimately unsatisfying.  It's ok as practice or to relieve tension,
   but it doesn't feel the same.  Everyone does it... but won't say so.

- Men are obsessed with it. They think about it all the time, which often annoys their partners.
- Men talk about it at length with friends...  women talk about length (or lack thereof) with friends.
- Some women tolerate it, reluctantly... but would rather be doing something else.
- Some women play along... but are really thinking about players they prefer.  Or shopping.
- Other women are total fans, often much more passionate and noisy than their partners
   (who should count themselves as very, very blessed).

The Players:
- Many rookies are just happy to get to 1st base, but veterans are always looking to score.
- Some players brag about statistics.. usually the ones not playing.
- Experienced players aren't shy about grabbing their crotches.  On TV, even.
- Switch-hitters see more playing time.  And while everyone has that ability, many decline.
   Some say it's unnatural. Or even perverse.  Others really want to... secretly.
- Players excell at their favorite position... though it helps to be versatile.

The Schedule:
- Professionals play almost every day... amateurs envy that but can only do it once a week.  Or less.
- Playing at home is favored, since away games can be riskier... away from wives and such.
- Players lose sleep on long road trips ...  but they see new fans that way.
- A Sunday double-header is rare treat. (Provided you stay for both games)

The Equipment:
- Street or business clothes aren't usually worn...   though, a serious player
   *really* appreciates a good looking formfitting curvehugging uniform.
- Only 2nd stringers stay clean. Real players are proud to get down and dirty.
- It is considered good form for men to wear protection.  Or else.
- When players feel a glove or hat is lucky, they make a real fetish of using it all the time.
   It's only a problem when they can't play without it. Or their teammates object.

The Rules:
- Stopping in mid-delivery is a "balk". It's not allowed, it's penalized..  and you can get injured.
- All playing fields are different sizes, but...  the mound and the turf are usually very familiar.
- Both sometimes end for a player with an early ejection.
- While moistening a ball is technically illegal... it is very, very effective.
- If you see four balls, you walk... (except under very unique conditions).
- Purists frown on a designated hitter. But then... some players say it livens the game.

- Though people say size doesn't matter, players with a big bat are much sought after.
- Weak hitters don't make it unless they have good hands.  Or other special talents.
- Smart players jump at the chance to get a few lessons from an experienced coach.
   It's usually better if it's not a relative, though. 
- While all-female teams play in a league of their own, they enjoy a devoted following.

During Play:
- A dribbler that runs foul is disapponting. A frozen rope is a very good thing.
- People admire you being "up for a big game"... though, it's expected by serious players.
- A fastball suddenly coming up and inside can be intimidating, but you have to expect a high
   hard one. It's always been part of the game... and real players say it gets their juices flowing.
- Sneaking a glance at a friend's box is ok when you're up. Encouraging, even. But when
   you're playing the field, it's dangerous. You might get hit in the face. Or worse.

- Everyone enjoys watching...  but nothing beats being at the ballpark.
- Screaming is common.  Even encouraged.  The noise seems to excite the players, too.
   In fact, you can tell a lot about what's going on just by listening. 
- Many people collect pictures of their favorites... often compulsively.
- Die-hard fans watch all the time.  This annoys people close to them, who would really
   prefer that they get out and actually play, instead. 

The Spirit:
- Names can inspire dreams.. (Expos, Giants, Tigers, Aureoles, Twins)...
   and some names disappoint (Brewers, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres).
- No sound gets players excited like the crack of rawhide in the spring.
- Some are free swingers.. others wait for a pitch in a preferred location.
- Players send secret signs by touching the body, chest, head and lips. Repeatedly.
- Autographs are sought after... but signing during play is frowned upon.
- Players usually ignore hecklers...  unless the putdown is really below the belt.

But most importantly: In BOTH...

- The very best men who ever played *never* finished first!

copyright 2009, all rights deserved, some assembly required, batteries not included.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or