Here’s your highly anticipated BAPL predictions for the 2011 season:
Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Yankers, Orioles
– Unless the Baseball Gods cast another injury spell upon Boston, the Red Sox should easily conquer the mighty AL East. The Rays won’t suffer from their off-season roster exodus as much as everyone thinks, but will still fall short. Toronto will have a great year, but unfortunately, they live in AL East. The Yanks will take a hard fall this year and heads will roll in The Bronx. Buck will make the Orioles respectable, but the birds in this division would all be better off if they flew west.
White Sox, Twinkies(WC), Tigers, Royals, Injuns
– With the Red Sox taking the East, the Year of the Sock Drawer will continue in the Central with Ozzie leading the South-Siders to a narrow division title over the Twinks…it will probably come down to another last day/tie-breaker in September, but the White Sox will prevail and Minnesota will claim the AL Wild Card. The Tigers will hang in there, but ultimately fade by September. The Royals could probably win the division if they’d DFA 90% of their big league club and call up their loaded farm system. Cleveland is, well, Cleveland, though I’m looking forward to seeing a full season of Carlos Santana behind the plate.
Rangers, A’s, Los Anaheim, Mariners
– I’m probably being a homer by picking my Rangers here but honestly, after a miserable spring training, I’m not exactly brimming with confidence. As usual, the pitching sitch is not looking very promising. But I had my doubts last year and 2010 ended up being the most successful year in franchise history…they should take the West, but it won’t be easy…or pretty. If the Rangers don’t take it, then I’m pretty sure the Oaklanders will. The A’s pitching staff is top notch and they made some off-season improvements at the plate, so it’ll be close. Los Anaheim may surprise us all and just kick the living sh!t out of Texas and Oakland. They’ve got the starting pitching and a great skipper for sure, but lots o’ questions on offense and in the bullpen. Seattle is a great city (Mrs. Jonestein and I honeymooned there) and I hear Safeco is an awesome ballpark….they also have Ichiro and King Felix. *awkward silence*
Bravos, Phillies(WC), Fish, Natinals, Mets
R2C2 will be really good for the Phillies, but only good enough for the NL Wild Card, as the Braves surprise everyone by taking the East. Josh Johnson will win the NL Cy Young and the Fish will stay in it till the end, just coming up short. The Natinals will finally work their way out of the cellar, which will have a new tenant this year, the woeful New York Mets.
Reds, Brew Crew, Cards, ‘Stros, Cubbies, Pirates
This will be one of the tightest races in baseball, with the Reds prevailing over the Brew Crew and Red Birds late in September. The Astros will make another late season charge, but fizzle. The Cubs will stay out of the cellar only because it is perpetually occupied by the AAAA Pittsburgh Pirates, who will continue to audition Andrew McCutchen for his eventual ascension to a big league club.
Giants, Rocks, Padres, Dodgers, D-Backs
The defending champion Giants will once again claim the NL West, but have to scrap it out with the Rockies late in September. The Padres may challenge again, but I doubt it. The Dodgers ownership soap opera will continue to help stifle this otherwise decent club, and Arizona will continue to be a great place for Spring Training.
World Series: Phillies over Red Sox in 6
Happy Opening Day Eve!
Then they notice I also have a couple of Boston Red Sox trinkets adorning my geeky cubicle (geekible?), and more than once I’ve been schooled on this (apparently) unwritten rule:
“You can’t root for two teams in the same league!”
I’ve also seen this rule cited on many a baseball site, and I’ve never understood why it exists. I can only assume it is a result of narrow minded, absolute thinking, so I suppose I should explain my fandom rationale/methodology:
First of all, when push comes to shove, I am only a “fan” of one MLB team, and that team is the Texas Rangers. In other words, if someone has a gun to my head (this IS Texas) and tells me I have to choose one and only ONE team to root for, there is absolutely no hesitation in my response: “Whichever team Jessica Alba roots for…”. But seriously, I’m only a fan of the Rangers.
However, at a more meta-level, I’m a fan of baseball in general, so naturally, there’s a darn good chance that I’m going to follow and “support” other teams outside the realm of Rangerdom. The Astros are easily my NL team, because of proximity and my aforementioned tenures of residency in Houston. Do I follow them with the same fervor and attention I give the Rangers? No, but I always keep an eye on the goings-on down yonder. Sadly, those goings-on have not been pretty the last few years and I don’t see much hope on the horizon.
So how do I justify my support for the Red Sox? This just HAS to conflict with my Ranger fandom, right? Wrong, but I’ll get to the actual fandom rationale here in a sec. First, the obvious question: “Why the Red Sox?” Back in 2000, while on a bidness trip to Boston, I naturally took in a game at Fenway Park, and instantly fell in love with the place. The baseball atmosphere was incredible, so I’ve been a Red Sox supporter ever since. I even returned there back in October of 2009 (the atmosphere wasn’t near as exciting, but it was just a meaningless end-of-regular-season game against Cleveland).
Anyway, on to my fandom methodology, or how I avoid conflicting American League baseball loyalties:
1. Head-to-head. I always root for the Rangers when they play the Red Sox, unless the Rangers are so hopelessly out of the playoff picture and the head-to-head game is a “must win” for the Red Sox. Even then, I’m hesitant.
2. AL Wild Card Race. No brainer here. If the Rangers and Red Sox are neck-and-neck in the race for the AL Wild Card spot, then I’m full-throttle Rangers. No conflict here.
3. Someone in the AL East has to win the AL East. This is unavoidable. So I root for the Red Sox to win the AL East because I like ’em and they are not the MF Yankees. I see no harm in this.
4. Post-season Baseball. Until 2010, the words “Post-season” and “Rangers” hadn’t really been mentioned in the same sentence since the mid-to-late nineties, and I like to have someone to root for in the playoffs. The last ten years, the Red Sox have pretty much been there, so I’ve rooted for them.
So I guess you could say I’m a conditional supporter of the Red Sox, and while this still probably breaks the silly One Team Per League unwritten rule, ultimately, I don’t really give a shiite…I’ll root for whatever team I want to root for. :^P
I hope that clears things up.
For the first time in my baseball life, The Baseball Gods have bestowed upon yours truly a mercifully short off-season. Don’t get me wrong, hockey has done a very admirable job of sustaining me through The Bad Time the last coupla years, but brother, it just ain’t baseball.
Pitchers and Catchers, come hither, The Baseball Gods-Uh hath summoned thee!
Previously, on Law & Order: Uniform Aesthetics Division –
During Monday’s episode, the BAPL UAD investigated Powdah-Blew gang activity in the AL East.
Tuesday found the unit trolling the dangerous aesthetic ghetto of the NL East.
Today, BAPL investigators venture into the AL Central, home to the frozen tundra of Minnesota, the frozen ideological wastelands of Kansas/Missouri, the mean streets of Chicago, and the empty streets of Cleveland and Detroit:
1. Cleveland Indians
Aside from the hella bad-a$s NBA Cleveland Cavaliers and their soon to be get-the-hell-outta-this-miserable-city forward LeBron James, about the only thing Cleveland sports fandom has going for it is the BAPL UAC Approved®
unis of the otherwise pathetic Cleveland Indians baseball club. The
home whites and away grays sport the perfectly proportioned combination
of navy blue and red. The cream colored alternates induce immediate,
multiple aesthetic fangasms, as do the road alts and their liberal use
of UAC perennial favorite color Navy Blue.
Most of all, the UAC adores those gutsy caps sporting the über-politically incorrect Indian with the sh!t-eatin’ grin on his face. Every year during the off-season, the BAPL UAC charters a bus for a weekend casino run up to
Oklahoma. Now, while no self-respecting UAC member would ever claim to be
an Indians fan, all UAC members enjoy donning said sh!t-eatin’ grin cap when entering the WinStar Casino of the Chickasaw Nation.
Numerous council members have confirmed that the logo depiction is
incredibly accurate, based on numerous face-to-face encounters with
Chickasaw blackjack dealers. Many a council member has noted the
increased intensity of the Chickasaw grin in proportion to council
member inebriation levels and subsequent hemorrhaging of Chickasaw
Colors (Navy Blue, Red, White): A+ (Great colors, wisely proportioned.)
Cap Insignia(s): A- (Very minor penalty for the use of the “C” and “I” alternate caps. Sh!t-eatin’ grin Chickasaw should be the only cap in use.)
Team Logo: A+ (The cigar-puffing, blustering pale-face who conceived this Injun logo really knocked the moccasins off the reservation.)
(How this wonderful mascot has survived the modern-day political correctness gestapo is beyond me. Long live Chief Wahoo!)
2. Minnesota Twins
only problem the council could find with the Twinks uniforms were that
of the alternate sleeveless jersey, a clear violation of UAC Code 86A – Sleeveless Jerseys Look Silly. Otherwise, all 2010 Twinkie uniforms were found pleasant to the eye, especially that of Joe Mauer, 2009 AL MVP who, coincidentally, anchors the UAC Chair’s fantasy baseball team, and not RSBS Co-Chair Jeff Lung’s fantasy team.
Colors (Navy Blue, Red, White): A+ (Like the Injuns, great colors, wisely proportioned.)
Cap Insignia(s): B- (The council likes the “Too Cold” insignia, but finds the “M” insignia unnecessary.)
Team Logo: B (Nicely designed and recognizable, but not fangasm-worthy)
(Regionally relevant, but falls into that “let’s not offend anyone” category of the “Mets”, “Nationals”, and “Expos”, all of which, the council finds extremely offensive.)
3. Detroit Tigers
council has always been impressed that the Detroiters, like the Yanks
of New York, opt for the simple yet classic home whites and away grays,
rather than a plethora of non-traditional alternates that do nothing
but over-commercialize the great game.
The council is especially
fond of the home whites and the Old English “D” that adorns them.
While lacking the majesty and mystique of the Yanks “NY”, the
Detroiters emblem symbolizes the tough, blue-collar grit of the
rust-belt unions, the very unions that, coincidentally, helped destroy the
economy of said rust belt. Perhaps, like General Motors, the Tigers can be bailed out with coerced tax payer money and become a
quasi-socialist organization run by President Hopenchange. Picture the image of Tigers skipper Jim Leyland sharing a smoke with PBO in the Tigers dugout…someone give Leroy Neiman a call immediately.
Tigers had a firm grasp on first place in the UAC standings throughout
the off-season and up until the last day of voting, when one
persnickety council member noted that the use of the color orange on
the navy away caps could easily be misconstrued as the UAC condemned
combination of orange and black. This forced a tie-breaker vote the
next day resulting in a disappointing finish for Les Tigres behind the
tundra-dwellers of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Detroit may never recover.
Colors (Navy Blue, White, Orange): B- (The orange cost them dearly)
Cap Insignia(s): A- (Perfection denied via red’s ugly sister.)
Team Logo: A+ (Classic)
(Has become rather trite in the world of mascots.)
4. Chicago White Sox
course, we all know that President Hopenchange would never bail out the
Detroit Tigers…hell, the man is self-respecting White Sox Fan.
Anyway, many a heated debate was had over the unis of the south-side
dwellers of the windy city. The home pinstripes were found to be
rock-solid, sleek and generally appealing. The only fault found with
the road grays was the stripe adorning the bottom half of the uni…the
council is still deliberating on the exact nature of this aesthetic
The alternates, of course, clearly violate UAC Section P, Article 303 – Mixing of Solids and Stripes.
But what sealed the fate of the Chicagoans 4th place rating was a 3/4
majority appeal for retroactive reparations for the aesthetic crimes
committed by the club during the late 70’s/early 80’s “baggy uni” phase. Reparations will begin to be phased out at the beginning of the 2020 season.
Colors (Black, Silver, White): B+ (Nothing flashy, very meat & potatoes. The council is a fan of meat and potatoes.)
Cap Insignia(s): A (Simple, stylish)
Team Logo: A (Ditto)
(Like “Red Sox”, the ears of UAC members do not hear “socks”, we hear “play ball”)
5. Kansas City Royals
Any hope the Royals ever had of escaping the cellar in the UAC
standings are and will forever be dashed by the hideous, inexcusable
aesthetic assault that is their powder blue alternates. The council
also weeps that the talent of Zack Grienke is not only being wasted in
the fandom wasteland of Kansas City, but that they have the nerve to
dress Herr Grienke up in such humiliating attire. No wonder he has a social anxiety disorder. A thousand curses
upon this franchise! What’s that? “Get in line”?
Colors (Royal Blue, Powder Blue, White): D– (Lose the powder blue.)
Cap Insignia(s): B (Not awe-inspiring, but not awful either)
Team Logo: C (Meh)
(I seem to recall that this has some regional significance, but since
this is the Royals, I just don’t see the upside of Googling the answer.)
Actual BAPL Predictions for the American League Central as mandated by BAPL UAC32910:
1. Minnesota Twins (See Mauer bias above)
2. Chicago White Sox (Possible wild card in the works)
3. Detroit Tigers (More mediocrity in the works)
4. Cleveland Indians (Possibly a fierce battle for the cellar with KC in the works)
5. Kansas City Royals (More pathetic Grienke wasting in the works)
Next up: the NL Central
Note: For those of you out
there that share the BAPL Uniform Aesthetics Council’s weird obsession
with uniform aesthetics, be sure to check out the Uni Watch site.
Images swiped from team pages on Wikipedia.
I’m not feeling terribly inspired or witty today, as I think I blew my snarck-wad in the last several posts, comments sections, and on Facebook…so you might want to take Officer Barbrady’s advice and “Move along, there’s nothing to see here”, this is probably going to be a boring post.
*waits for you to move along*
Ok, so how did the Magic BAPL Prediction Box® do in the ALDS and NLDS? Looks like I went 3-1, with an asterisk next to the “3”:
1. Los Anaheim in five over Boston.
Well, I got the “over” part right. Unfortunately, the Halos heroics were too much for my boys from Beantown, and there was no dramatic game five win, just an embarrasing three-game sweep in front of a stunned Beantown crowd. It seems Post-Season Papelbon is mortal afterall.
2. Yanks sweep Twinks.
Check. This was the easiest of the predictions, though the Twinks fell valiantly.
3. Phils 3 games to 1 over the Rox.
4. Cardinals 3 games to 2 over the Dodgers.
Not so much. Not sure that Matt Holliday’s flubolla made any difference in this one as the Cardinals decided to do their best impersonation of the September 2009 Texas Rangers. I really thought the Cardinal bats would overpower the Dodger pitching. Looks like this prediction fell victim to an old adage. Worst of all: Padilla. Blech.
Now, onward and forward to the ALCS and NLCS, slightly tainted because I’m a day late and the Phils beat Los Angeles of Los Angeles last night:
1. ALCS – Yanks over the Angels in Six.
I actually WANT the Angels to win because I would love to see a LAA-LALA World Series…and I actually WANT the Angels to win the World Series because it would be a huge, symbolic middle finger to all of the AL West bashers out there. But alas, as much as it pains me to say this, I think the Yanks are the “real deal” this year. The Halos will give em one helluva fight, but the Evil Empire will prevail.
2. NLCS – Dodgers over Phils in Seven.
I’ll at least get half of my desired World Series, and MLB, FOX, and anyone who benefits from good television ratings will get their full WS wish as the Dodgers prevail in an epic dogfight(I can’t believe I’m starting to use the word “epic” all of the time. I sound like my 17 yr old nephew…EVERYTHING is “Epic”…lol). The Phils, like the Angels, will not go down easily and shall fight valiantly to the bitter end.
Not that my predictions matter, as I think any combination will give us a great World Series this year.
Ok, that’s it. Told you it would be boring.
Yes, dear readers, now that the “Los Angeles” Angels of Anaheim, California have succeeded in sweeping my #2 team, the “Boston” Red Sox of Boston, Taxachucetts, and thus, sweeping my MLB enthusiam out the door until next spring, it’s time for another heart-warming episode of “Jonestein B!tches About Petty Things Completely Out of His Control”, and yes, another exacerbatingly long opening sentence wrought with comma abuse, typos, and diction ineptness, all brought to you by the Texas State Board of Education, where evolution is Just a Theory® and The Bible is the only science text book God’s Children® will ever need.
In today’s episode, we discuss the insipid practice of shilling NFL merchandise under the pretense of “nostalgia“, otherwise known as the “Throwback Game”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the libertarian, free market economics guy in me (insert tasteless joke here) is all for making money, but there is just something disingenuous at work here that leaves a bad taste in my mouth(I’m just lobbing these over the plate, eh?) and this, once again, “manufactured nostalgia” is just one of the many off-putting things that have made me a marginal NFL fan over the years.
Yeah, yeah, I know, MLB does it’s share of Fake Nostalgia Games, as well as it’s Racism-Guilt Baiting Games, but like any blogger worth his salt, I choose to ignore that fact and continue to wax sanctimoniously, not missing a beat.
Anyway, much like the awarding of the now meaningless Nobel Peace Prize and it’s manufactured prestige to our President, Saint Hopenchange, these “throwback” games are just grandiose marketing schemes designed to sell us a bunch of crap we don’t need: more “authentic”/replica jerseys, t-shirts, and socialized medicine that we can’t pay for and haven’t really thought through.
And of course, there’s the putrid aesthetics. Take those gawd-awful throwbacks sported by the Denver Broncos yesterday. Those things were hideous back when they were hideous. I’m certainly no fashion maven, but what kind of bush-league, embarrasment of an organization would subject their players to the ridicule inherent with sporting yellow and brown uniforms?
Not only did I want to go all Oedipus(sans the mom-porking) over those hideous Broncos throwbacks, I had to endure yet another game watching Brady & Co. wear their bland throwbacks, you know, the ones with the Smiling, Patriotic Reach-Around Guy on the helmet? Blech.
Then there was my beloved heroes, the Dallas Cowboys, decked out in their circa 1960 blue and white abominations, playing “The Game That Never Was” with the Kansas City Chefs/Dallas Texans. Yeah, I got a warm fuzzy, harkening back to those days in 1960 I remember so fondly, floating around in Dad’s gnads, waiting for that call up to Big Leagues. Thing is, those unis were hideous back then too, so much that the paisley-like former incarnation of myself could even sense it down at Double A.
So please, NFL, spare us the smarmy, manufactured nostalgia. Limit this nonsense to ONE week per season, preferably during the Cowboys bye week.
I’ll spare you the remaining pics of my Fenway Park tour, like the ones posted yesterday, they were taken from my cell phone camera and the quality, well, ain’t.
Anyway, after the tour, my buddy and I hopped back on the subway, headed back to the hotel, and much to my surprise, the bag American Airlines so kindly lost for Mrs. J and I showed up at the concierge desk. Good thing, because it contained 95% of our clothes, which included our Texas Rangers jerseys. I was going to wear my Red Sox gear to the game, but Jeff, Mrs. J, and I decided to “represent” our boys by sporting our royal blue Texas Rangers jerseys and assorted hats.
(Note: The above/to-the-right pic was taken from our seats)
I was very surprised by the Fenway crowd, most congratulated us for our team’s better-than-expected 2009 season, however we did get several incredulous “Texas?!?” exclamations by passers-by, non of which sounded the least bit threatening, just fun, rivalry razzing.
Here are some pics from that incredible place called Fenway Park:
1. View of the field from our awesome seats:
2. Mrs. J and I enjoying some first class ballpark food (really, it was awesome):
3. Mrs. J and I from the aisle next to our seats (also my new profile pic):
4. My buddy Jeff and I at the same spot:
5. The John Hancock big screen:
6. Jeff and I down by the field after the game:
7. A couple of me at the same spot:
After the game, we went back to the hotel, changed clothes, and headed over to this great little pub called “Mr. Dooley’s”. We landed at Mr. Dooley’s all three nights we were in Boston. Here are some drunken pics:
1. Mrs. J and I, pre-sloshed:
2. Jeff and I flashing our “gang signs”. We dubbed our street gang “The Blubs”:
3. Me, apparently trying to impersonate a rotund Tony Romo with hypertension, decked out in Red Sox gear. I was several Smithwicks in by this point so I honestly don’t have a clue what the context of this pic was (but I’m pretty sure my pass was intercepted by the ghost of Michael Collins):
I won’t bore you with the touristy details surrounding the remainder of the trip…I’ll just bore you with a few more pictures:
1. Jeff and I outside Mr. Dooley’s right before we left for the airport:
2. Mrs. J and I at the Hahvahd subway stop:
3. Revenge of the Legal Seafood Lobster!:
4. Jeff and I at the aquarium:
5. And finally, Mrs. J and I at the aquarium:
Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Fenway was beyond awesome,
Little Italy The North End was heaven (I could spend weeks there gorging myself on Italian food), and MAN, my feet are tired!
Thanks for the great time, Boston!
2009 Off-the-Cuff BAPL Divisional Playoff Predictions
1. ALDS – Red Sox/Angels
As much as I want my #2 Sox to win it all, I think the Angels just might take ’em this time.
BAPL Predic: Angels 3 games to 2, pulling out a heart-stopping win in Game 5
2. ALDS – Twinks/Yanks
Not to take anything away from the Twinks’ impressive AL Central Tiger-thump, but I’m pretty dang sure my Rangers would do a much better job of getting swept by the Yankees in this one.
BAPL Predic: Yankees 3 games to 0 in a yawner.
3. NLDS – Rocks/Phils
Gotta give the Rockies credit, they had an awesome second half run. Too bad it’ll end here.
BAPL Predic: Phils 3 games to 1.
4. NLDS – Cards/Dodgers
His Albertness shall dominate. Nuff said.
BAPL Predic: Cards 3 games to 2.