THE TAMPA BAY RAYS ARE BACK IN FIRST PLACE IN THE A.L. EAST!!!
And what a wonderful thing that is……..
So here we are nearly 20 hours after the little acting game, and I’m still stewing about it. Sure every writer, blogger, fan, sportscaster, whathaveyou has already had their say on the issue. Is it cheating? Is it gamesmanship? Foul play or crafty veteran? Or all just part of the game? Well here’s my take on the issue: Derek Jeter is a lying, cheating, asshole, piece of shit, sonofabitch, jackhole who owes every 8 year old in a little league uniform an apology…..and a hundred dollars.
The amount of time between the unmistakable crack of ball hitting bat and Jeter’s dance routine was a freaking nanosecond. Enough time for about one synapse to fire. Jeter didn’t go sit in the clubhouse for a bit and weigh the pros and cons of what he was about to do and decide, in full mental capacity, to cheat yesterday. Instead he reacted immediately…one fraction of a fraction of a second….almost….well, instinctively. And that one synapse that fired before he even realized that it had happened exposed Derek Jeter for the fraud that he is. His instinctual, natural reaction was to cheat. To dance around like a four-year old girl in a ballet class and grab his poor little arm and wince in pain.
And furthermore, the entire Yankees organization is complicit. Consider this: after the HBP that wasn’t, the Yankees trainer came rushing out to check on their golden boy. While there, he consulted Jeter for a brief moment, but did not ask him to remove the elbow pad or pull up his long sleeves to inspect the injury. Only one phrase, one combination of the 40,000+ words in the English language could have stopped that trainer from insisting that he take a more indepth look at the arm of their biggest star. Not “I’m Ok” or “It doesn’t hurt” or even “Piss off and leave me alone”….only the phrase “It didn’t hit me” would have backed that trainer off in that moment. Should the trainer have gone and told the ump that Jeter wasn’t hit? Of course not. But the organization that pays them both has created an atmosphere where the lie is not only accepted, but encouraged.
“Captain of the New York Yankees” is a title so revered in major league sports that it carries a similar weight as “President of the United States” in some (probably far too many) circles. For a decade and a half Derek Jeter has been a superstar with only few rivals in all professional sports. For nearly a decade he has been “Captain”. Arguably, Derek Jeter is the face of Major League Baseball (like it or not). And all of the fans, kids and adults alike, who look up to him saw him pull a bullshit move in last nights game, essentially giving license to such activity to the entire league.
Anything to win. That’s Yankee Baseball at it’s best. The rules don’t matter anymore once you’re in the pinstripes. I’m just thanking my lucky stars that it wasn’t a Ray pulling that crap. Because it would pain me much more, but I wouldn’t feel any different about how shitty and disrespectful it was to the game and to both teams on the field.
Was it just a missed call? Batters get balls that are really strikes (and vice versa) all the time. Bang bang plays get called in the wrong direction. It happens. Every fan and player has seen it a hundred times and (aggravating as it is) we roll with it. And everyone understands that umpires are humans, too. But this wasn’t just a blown call (though it WAS a piss-poor blown call), This blown call was intentionally induced by Jeter’s acting abilities. And I’m guessing that the spectre of “Derek Jeter” had a lot to do with the ump believing his bullshit. Regarded as one of the real stand-up guys in major league sports, who would question him (unless you can tell the difference between the sound of ball hitting wood from the sound of ball hitting elbow pad)?
This is why I love golf. On April 18 of this year Brian Davis had a chance to beat Jim Furyk at the Verizon Heritage, giving him his first ever PGA Tour victory. Instead, during a playoff hole, Davis called a very minor, almost unheard of penalty on himself, with nobody watching, taking him out of contention. Now that’s integrity. And Derek Jeter couldn’t caddy for Davis as far as I’m concerned. Jeter’s the kind of asshole who always carries an extra ball in his pocket and mysteriously “finds” every errant drive in a cleverly convenient spot, just on the edge of the woods.
Jeter’s an asshole. It’s just a damn good thing that Dan Johnson showed up (again!). If that crap had caused a Rays loss, I’d be mad about the whole thing.
And Lance Berkman’s still a fat-ass.
To our loyal and devoted fans let me say one thing….we’ve let you down and I personally apologize. We’ve failed you. We’ve been lazy and absent and unmotivated and sleepy and unresponsive. All amidst a wonderful little run that put us back ahead of the hated Yankmes. In all we’ve been bad hosts, compatriots, friends, comrades, and (worst of all) fans.
BUT NO MORE!!!! No more, I say, because we’ve been called to action! One of our myriad followers and fellow lovers of the Rays has come humbly to ask for assistance where she could find no other champion to take up her cause. While we were sleeping, the unofficial voice of the rays fans has been comandeered and polluted by none other than joemaddonsucks.com.
Oh, Mr. Sucks….why haven’t you responded to our challenge of a joust? Perhaps horses and long pointy thing make you uncomfortable. If that is the case, then please choose your challenge…..boxing match? drinking contest? break-dance fight? dodgeball? dog-sled race? Anything to please make you shut your damn trap about how Joe Maddon sucks. Waaaaa waaaaa sabremetrics waaaa know-it-all waaaaaaaaaaaaa.
So what if Joe switches up the lineup at will? We’re winning games! A shitload of them if you haven’t noticed! I couldn’t care less if he was dropping chicken bones into a bowl of goat blood to choose the line up. And I couldnt care less if those chicken bones told him to pull Benoit and put in my Aunt Ethel. The fact of the matter is that I’ve (and you’ve) spent exactly zero days managing so much as a girl scout softball team and he’s worked his way around the league and earned this position and our trust more than any manager in our past.
So seriously….you choose the challenge…and the venue….I’ll just bring myself and Joe and we’ll sort this all out. And meanwhile the Rays will win. A lot. You’re going on the list Mr. Sucks. And believe you me, I hate to do this to another Rays “fan” (if that’s what you are). So here’s my new top (bottom) five:
And to all of our recently disappointed fans, we’re recommitting ourselves to your consistent entertainment. We’re more clearly aware, now, of the immense responsibility that we hold as the bastions of all that is good and right and sarcastic in the Rays world. We realize now that you all look to us for your daily dose of refreshing, in-depth, hard-hitting news and analysis of any damn thing we feel like talking about.
Thank you to Rhianna for the inspiration and motivation to put the cape back on. We now make our lightning-fast phone booth change from mild mannered couch potatoes to unauthorized, unabridged, unapologetic, unwavering, unimaginable, unstoppable, unconstitutional, unbelievable superheroes.
Besides. Lance Berkman is a fat-ass. And two weeks is 13 days too long to go without addressing that.