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!
For UAC Chair and BAPL CEO Jonestein, the NL West is but a sad
reminder of a screenwriting career that was never to be. One of the
many screenplays submitted by Jonestein to Hollywood was one titled “Sent Down”, a tragic, yet witty homage to the great game which was surely destined to become The Next Great Baseball Movie.
“Sent Down” centered around an eclectic group of Major League Baseball players recently sent down to the their Triple A affiliate Provo Golden Plates in
Utah. A character-driven story, the five main characters in the
script represented an encapsulation of each NL West team’s regional
personality and quirks(translation: perceived stereotypes):
Bobby Roxsum, Jr.
(Played by the Colorado Rockies) – The main character of the story,
Bobby is a young baseball prodigy who made a brief appearance in the
majors last season but was sent back down to Provo shortly thereafter.
Young Bobby is still trying to figure out who he is, a task complicated
by his dichotomous upbringing at the hands of his (now divorced)
parents, Robert Sr., a Baptist pastor in Colorado Springs, and his
mother, Jan Dowdy-Roxsum, PhD, an Environmental Scientist at Colorado
State University. Bobby’s journey of self-discovery is complicated
even further by the influence of his oddball teammates.
Danny “Dude” Mann
(Played by the LA Dodgers) – Dude Mann has the talent to be a perennial
MLB All-Star, but his laid-back lifestyle and work ethic, coupled with
his frequent use of “medicinal” marijuana and subsequent suspensions,
have landed his career in Provo, where he frequently ends up on the DL
after “catching a snow wave, Dude” following his morning “glaucoma treatment”.
(Played by the San Francisco Giants) – P.C.’s political crusades often
land him in hot water with the Provo locals, who also take issue with
his celebration dance after driving one home. P.C.’s crusade to ban
wooden bats and leather gloves also have league officials frowning on
Mike “Sarge” March (Played by the San Diego Padres)
– Sarge frequently peruses the crowd for disrespectful fans who try to
escape to the men’s room during the 7th inning stretch playing of “God
Bless America”. He once put an unsuspecting Japanese tourist into a
sleeper hold for taking pictures during said 7th inning ritual of
guilt-coerced patriotism. “Foreignality is no excuse!”, shouted the enraged Golden Plates 3rd baseman after the incident.
R.L. “Sundown” Hawthorne
(Curmudgeonly Manager of the Golden Plates, played by the Arizona
Diamondbacks) – The 72 year old skipper of the ‘Plates only took the
Provo job because there are no lights at Joseph Smith Field, so all
games are played during the day, enabling him to make it to Luby’s by
4:45 for supper.
A sample scene from the baseball epic that never was:
on a running water fountain being operated by ‘Plates shortstop Dude
Mann, his teammates waiting impatiently for a thirst-quenching drink.
Almost there, dudes, almost there.
What in the HAY-UL happened to our Sparkletts delivery?!?
I think Limpright sued the delivery guy for environmental genocide.
Do you apes not care what those plastic bottles are doing to THE ENVIRONMENT?!?
Oh, Jesus, is it time for my Luann plate yet?
(Finally taking a drink)
Mmmm, dudes, it’s like having sex with one of those blue things from “Avatar”.
Anyways, back to the aestheitcs:
1. LA Dodgers
and simple with no alternates, a perennial favorite of the BAPL UAC,
especially the road grays, which the council got to witness first hand
last season when the Dodgers came to Arlington.
Colors (Dodger Blue and White): A+ (Dodger blue rocks)
Cap Insignia(s): A
(Ok, this one is probably the second most recognizable in the world, not the Bostons’)
Team Logo: B (Like it, but don’t love it)
Mascot: A (Never bothered to explore it’s origins until a few years ago…we likee)
2. Colorado Rockies
Had the Dodgers gone to the merchandising dark side and started
sporting alternates, then the Rox would have grabbed first place in the
UAC standings. The Rox purple and black combo is a UAC favorite also
sported by the UAC’s favorite hockey team, the Texas Brahmas, and root-for-by-proximity-proxy college football team, the TCU Horned Frogs. The Colorado sleeveless alternates, however, cost ’em a spot in the standings.
Colors (Black, Purple, Silver, White): A+ (Brahma and Horned Frog worthy)
Cap Insignia(s): A
Team Logo: A (Regional, purple, and black…love it)
Mascot: A+ (Absolutely perfect for this team)
3. San Francisco Giants
Third place was a virtual toss-up between the Giants and Padres based
solely on their hideous alternates. The Giants won out however, due to
the appeal of their home cream unis and in spite of the UAC condemned
Orange/Black motif of the team. Plus, Matt Cain is on one of Chairman
Jonestein’s fantasy teams.
Colors (Black, Orange, Cream): F (Blech)
Cap Insignia(s): D
Team Logo: B (Meh)
Mascot: B (Not
horrible. We just wonder why baseball commentators don’t feel the need
to call them the San Francisco “Baseball” Giants like the NFL does the
New York “Football” Giants)
4. San Diego Padres
With the exception of the home whites and first alternates,
probably, some of the most heinous unis in all of baseball. Yeah,
yeah, I get the shove-the-patriotism-down-your-throat motives of the
second alts, but from an aesthetic perspective, BLECH!
Colors (Navy Blue, Sand, White): D (The only color saving the Friars from total condemnation is the Navy Blue)
Cap Insignia(s): B
Team Logo: D (Looks like it should be the logo for some sun block with aloe)
Mascot: F (Effing stupid)
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
Only the second alts escape complete UAC condemnation. The rest of
the D-Back unis suffer from the red curse, as well as a horrible logo,
one of the most hideous in the league.
Colors (Sedona Red, Black, Sonoran Sand, White): F (Yeah,
they can try and hide behind fancy words like “Sedona” and “Sonoran”,
but they can’t hide from the council’s judgmental eyes)
Cap Insignia(s): B
(Kinda cool, actually)
Team Logo: B/F (The TEAM logo is ok, but the logo on the jerseys is awful)
Mascot: A+ (Surround it with some non-offensive colors and a decent jersey logo and the cellar dwelling days would be over.)
Actual BAPL Predictions for the National League Central as mandated by BAPL UAC32910:
1. Colorado Rockies (Tulo and Co. will continue to thrive.)
2. San Francisco Giants (Timmah and Co. should take the NL Wild Card)
3. LA Dodgers (Manny and the Dodgers will falter late in the season)
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (Look for some improvements over last year, but not much)
5. San Diego Padres (Like the Royals, Pirates, Natinals, and Orioles, this team would be great in a relegation league).
Next up: the AL West
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.
Current uni 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.